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Comvita shareholders exercise 5.6M of 6.9M rights on offer, triggering shortfall bookbuild

Comvita said shareholders exercised 5.6 million of the 6.9 million of rights under its 1 for 5 offer, and the remainder will now be offered to other investors under a shortfall bookbuild.

The Te Puke-based maker of health products based on manuka honey aimed to raise $24.4 million in the offer at $3.55 apiece. The take-up from existing shareholders has raised about $19.9 million, leaving a shortfall of $4.5 million. That will now be offered to New Zealand market participant firms and institutional investors today in a bookbuild to be managed by Deutsche Craigs.

If the bookbuild price exceeds the issue price, the difference will be paid to holders of unexercised rights in proportion to their holdings, once transaction costs of 0.25 percent are deducted. Comvita shares last traded at $3.65.

When the rights offer was announced on Nov. 12, chairman Neil Craig said the company needed increased working capital during the New Zealand spring, because of the seasonal nature of the honey harvest. The capital raising would allow Comvita to pay down bank debt "and then ultimately providing further equity to support the businesses investment in honey inventory as well as affording financial capacity to consider acquisitions," he said at the time.

The company last month posted a first-half loss of $3.3 million, smaller than it had forecast.