29 Mar 2010

Ecoya aims to list on NZX and expand overseas

7:13 am on 29 March 2010

Entrepreneurs behind 42 Below Vodka believe the strength of the directors recruited to their new company, Ecoya, will drive its success as it lists on the NZX and expands overseas.

The luxury scented candle and fragrance business hopes to raise up to $13 million through an initial public offering opens on Monday.

The team behind 42 Below - Geoff Ross, Grant Baker, Stephen Sinclair and Craig Schweighoffer - will be joined on the board by Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe, Australian designer Collette Dinnagan and former Walt Disney Studios president Rich Frank.

The company is seeking money to fund expansion in Australia, Asia and the United States.

Ecoya is the first company this year to list on the sharemarket, after attempts by BioVittoria, DNZ and Synlait at the end of last year failed to get off the ground.

Ecoya chairman Geoff Ross says he is confident about the company's outlook and says the strength of the company's new directors will be crucial in driving growth.

Mr Ross says a former president of Disney, Mr Frank will help the company to get meetings with key department store chains, Mr Fyfe knows how to build a brand overseas and Ms Dinnagan brings a design and feminine aesthetic to the product.

Ecoya is picking that it will be able to double its revenue next year to $8 million, but is forecasting the business will make losses for the next two years.

Only 15% of the shares in Ecoya have been earmarked for the public, with the remaining set aside for institutions, the company's directors and certain private investors.

The offer closes at the end of April, with the company hoping to list on the NZX in early May.