Rua Bioscience debuts on the NZX; becomes only NZX listed company headquartered in Tairāwhiti, and first founded by a Māori community

Tairāwhiti pharmaceutical company, Rua Bioscience (NZX: RUA) has today started trading on the NZX, becoming the only NZX listed company to be headquartered in the region, and founded by a Māori community.

The listing follows a fully subscribed Initial Public Offering this month that raised $20 million of new capital to fund Rua’s next stage of development, support the achievement of sustainable revenue and accelerate growth. Rua has an implied market capitalisation on listing of $70 million based on an issue price of $0.50 per share.

25 per cent of shares were allocated through a priority offer for Tairāwhiti residents, Waiapu Investments Shareholders and other people closely associated with the business.

Approximately 86 per cent of Tairāwhiti and Waiapu applicants received their share application in full, with only those who applied for over $5,000 of shares being scaled. Remaining shares were allocated to a small number of NZ institutions and to brokers on behalf of New Zealand retail clients.

Rua Chairman Trevor Burt says, “I would like to welcome and thank all of Rua’s new and existing investors for their support. The confidence you have shown allows the company to earn a position as a leader in the global medicinal cannabis industry.”

“The progress that Rua has achieved since Panapa and Manu established the company has been immense. Over the last 18 months we have achieved several major milestones including the development of plant cultivation and genetics IP, building a high-quality and experienced team, completing commercially licenced facilities and securing a binding sales agreement with Nimbus Health, one of Germany’s leading distributors of medicinal cannabis. Now, as a listed company, we’ll be working to execute on our export-led strategy, with a clear path to sustainable revenue, to deliver for Rua and our shareholders.

“The company is well placed and ready to progress to the next stage of commercial production. The funds raised through the IPO will support Rua to expand its cultivation and processing expertise, and allow critical investments to be made to secure further international partnerships.” - Rua Bioscience Board Chair, Trevor Burt

Rua Bioscience Co-founder Panapa Ehau, blows the conch shell at Uepohatu marae in Ruatorea, to mark the start of Rua trading on the NZX.

Rua Bioscience holds a Medicinal Cannabis Licence from New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Agency and has completed construction of an operational controlled cultivation facility in Ruatorea and an extraction and manufacturing facility in Gisborne.

Rua CEO Rob Mitchell says, “Our GMP paperwork has been submitted to Medsafe and our first GMP audit is scheduled to take place before the end of the year.”

“Our focus will then be on fulfilling our sales agreement with Nimbus Health which is a fully licenced German importer and distributor focussed on medicinal cannabis products, and we anticipate our first wholesale exports of dried cannabis flower to occur by the end of 2021.”

Rua Chairman Trevor Burt, with NZX Chief Executive Mark Peterson at the listing event at NZX in Auckland.

The company held its listing ceremony simultaneously across two locations; at the NZX in Auckland and at Uepohatu marae in Ruatorea. As the RUA ticker went live on the main board at 11am, in place of the traditional ringing of the bell, co-founder Panapa Ehau blew a conch shell in Ruatorea, to mark the start of trading.

Co-founders Manu Caddie and Panapa Ehau say the milestone is a testament to the Tairāwhiti and Ruatorea communities who have supported the company since its inception.

“Rua’s community is at the heart of its journey and success, and it is important for us to acknowledge those people who have been there from the beginning; we have built community into the DNA of Rua, and are committed to continuing to attract more talent back to the region, and create economic development opportunities for Tairāwhiti.

“Rua is proud to be the only NZX listed company to be headquartered in Tairāwhiti, and the first to be founded by a Māori community. We are grateful for both the early local support and to the investors around the country that have helped achieve this milestone for the East Coast.”