Written on the 17 August 2016 by James Perkins


NOJA Power has confirmed it is in the final stages of preparing an IPO for the ASX and is about to release its first 'switch' product to the market, which has the potential to double the size of the business.

Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Brisbane-based manufacturer of utility-scale circuit breakers, Neill O'Sullivan, confirmed that Morgans is in the lead to manage the venture.

"We are in the final stages of progressing that with (Morgans) and are looking forward to making announcements shortly on IPOing the business, which we think is the next natural journey for us," Sullivan told a business breakfast hosted by Morgans in Brisbane this morning.

Speaking to Business News Australia over the phone, O'Sullivan says, "We had offers from several of the investment banks, but we reached a point where we decided Morgans would very likely be the sole lead manager of the IPO."

The plan will be for a minority selldown by the four current directors and shareholders, O'Sullivan, Oleg Samarski, Jay Manne and Quynh Anh Le. O'Sullivan wouldn't put a value on the IPO, but it is reported to be around $400 million.

"The reason behind the IPO is long-term succession planning, and to also provide for our staff a way to grow the business beyond the initial founding shareholders," says Sullivan, adding that the founders are not looking to exit in the short term, but perhaps in 5-10 years.

"Retail investors will also have the opportunity through the IPO and Morgans has a strong retail channel to market, alongside a very strong institution desk."

"There could be as much as a 50/50 mix of retail and institutional investors, which will be determined as part of building the book for the IPO."

Currently, Noja Power is one of the largest manufacturers of medium voltage pole-mounted switchgear in the world and services 84 countries worldwide from its headquarters at Murrarie, a factory which it has just expanded to cover 10,000sqm.

"Our vision is to be the world leader in medium voltage pole-mounted switchgear and we think we are about half way there with our vision," says O'Sullivan.

The business is about to launch its first switch product, named the Visi-Switch, after specialising in circuit breakers since its inception in 2002.

"We have just completed an R&D project where we have developed a switch, because in the electricity network, there are circuit breakers and switches in the overhead medium voltage network, so we are very dominant in the circuit breaker section, we have no business in the switch section."

O'Sullivan says the market for switches is five times that of circuit breakers and that by selling the switch, there is the potential to double the size of the business.

"That makes us very bullish about the future of our business and we think it is an opportunity to therefore IPO the business as a result of that," he says.

"It is the first product we have ever launched where we have had customers add it to contracts without even going to tender, it is a really exciting new technology."

O'Sullivan says the company is in the process of building new production lines in order to build the Visi-Switch, with plans to start production in the third quarter of 2017.

Back in 2011, Noja Power Co-Founder Quynh Ahn Le was the Business News Australia Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Brisbane.


Author: James Perkins Connect via: Twitter LinkedIn





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