BLT IPO v 2.0

By now many readers are aware of the circumstances around Benitec’s (ASX : BLT) NASDAQ debut. As I reported last week, they failed to garner sufficient interest last week to price, reflected in their amended F-1 filing. The main thing to note about this filing is that the amount of capital to be raised is roughly 1/3 of what was originally planned (~$25m) and now Maxim is the sole book runner. BMO is out (not a very good omen, incidentally).

There has already been a fair amount of adulation on the trading forums. I guess, it’s understandable. To the punters this looks like a better deal, less dilution perhaps, though I feel compelled to suggest that there is an under-appreciation that Maxim is still going to have to work hard to get that $25m in for BLT, and this really is a last-ditch attempt. It can also still fail, though presumably if Maxim agreed to take all the heat they seem pretty confident they can push it out. They probably have enough of a client base to make it happen, though it is a bit of “bottom-feeder” firm (more of a co-manager profile) and they won’t be in it for long (note to short-sellers). 

Frankly I was surprised BMO was even willing to be a joint book-runner in the original IPO. It was always very odd…

This deal is a little closer in terms of cash size to what the company should have contemplated in the first place. Despite my regular ridicule of BLT and its general buffoonery, I do want it to be successful so I am keeping my fingers crossed this week. I suppose it’s easy for all of us, including me, to sit back here and pick on mistakes, but those guys are in the trenches and showing the typical Peter French tenacity. 

Good luck guys and hope you get it done. Peter, you might have a shot at buying back your mansion yet


3 thoughts on “BLT IPO v 2.0

  1. I am glad BLT finally released an announcement saying something had changed. Although, if I were a shareholder reading that announcement, I wouldn’t have a clue what had happened. That announcement was not written to help shareholders understand.

    I can see why BLT management don’t want to risk sabotaging the toned-down IPO listing by telling the world that their first ambitious attempt failed, but their shareholders need to be kept informed too.

    They can’t have it both ways: talk up any good news and try to hide from the bad news.

    Except that’s what they and most companies do, and that’s why share investing is hard!


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