Reseller News

Booking.com invests in NZX-listed Serko

NASDAQ travel giant Booking.com takes a cornerstone stake in NZ's Serko
Darrin Grafton (Serko)

Darrin Grafton (Serko)

NZX-listed travel and expense management technology company Serko is raising capital with NASDAQ-listed Booking.com becoming a cornerstone investor.

Serko is raising up to $45 million of new capital to accelerate the global rollout of Serko Zeno and expand marketplace content.

Booking Holdings will cornerstone the capital raising via a wholly owned subsidiary, resulting in an approximately 4.7 per cent shareholding in Serko.

Booking.com and Serko have also inked commitments to expand their existing agreement so that Booking.com can offer and promote Serko Zeno to its business traveller customers and to enable the integration of new Booking.com content onto Serko Zeno.

Serko is undertaking an underwritten $56 million placement, comprised of a primary placement of $40 million newly issued ordinary shares, of which Booking Holdings will be a cornerstone investor with a $17.5 million investment.

There will also be a secondary sale of existing shares by a limited number of Serko employees and two directors (Darrin Grafton and Simon Botherway) of $16 million.

In addition, Serko will offer up to $5 million of newly issued ordinary shares to Serko’s eligible existing shareholders resident in New Zealand and Australia under a non-underwritten share purchase plan.

The funds raised will be used to accelerate the provisioning of Serko Zeno into North America and continental Europe and to deliver expanded content channels across the global travel management company reseller community.

They will also increase the scale of the company to deliver and support its growing customer base and future opportunities.

The placement will be underwritten by Deutsche Craigs and will be conducted today through a bookbuild in which institutional and other select investors in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and Singapore will be invited to participate.

Botherway’s sell-down represents less than 50 per cent of his current holding while Grafton’s represents approximately 13 per cent.

The placement has been underwritten at $4.04 per share.