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Boutique brewery wants to raise millions

Published: 10:50AM Monday October 01, 2012 Source: Fairfax

The owners of Marlborough-based Moa Brewing Co are considering a stock exchange float to raise $15 million to expand its Jacksons Rd brewery.

Chief executive Geoff Ross was in Marlborough on Friday and said the firm needed a bigger brewery to meet growing demand, and funding to support increased working capital and marketing.

The proposed offer would take place in late October with the aim of raising $15m, it was revealed today.

The possibility of a share float is the next major step for the craft brewery, which was founded in 2004 by Josh Scott, of Blenheim.

Scott remains an executive brewer although he holds only a minority interest in the company.

His family owns Blenheim-based Allan Scott Wines.

The potential float follows a successful year for Moa, whose brew was the official beer at Kiwi House - the pop-up pub set up by the New Zealand Olympic Committee in London.

Moa signed up with a New Zealand distribution partner, Australia-based Treasury Wine Estates last month, which will help provide a gateway to many more potential markets for the company.

The company has not yet applied for resource consent for its brewery expansion, and will not give details of its plans, but it is understood the footprint of the plant will not increase by much.

Head brewer David Nicholls said they employ nine fulltime staff at the Jacksons Rd brewery and tasting room, and another 10 staff in their head office in Auckland.

Operating efficiencies were expected to increase production without a significant increase of staff, he said.

Scott is keen for Moa production to remain in Marlborough as he believes the unique flavour and characteristics can only be produced in the region, and it is an important part of their company's story, he said.

Potential shareholders can pre-register interest at from today until October 9.