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Wynyard Group splits from Jade

17 Jan 13

Christchurch software developer Jade Corp is splitting off its fast-growing intelligence-gathering software arm, Wynyard Group, as a separate entity, with Wynyard likely to be considering options for new capital to support growth by late this year.

Jade's managing director since 2009, Craig Richardson, will move to work exclusively at Wynyard, as chief executive, as it pushes into the US market and starts to challenge its parent, Jade, as the larger entity in the group.

Richardson would not be drawn on when, whether or how Wynyard would seek to raise new capital, but said the issue was likely to become live for the Jade board next year as Wynyard seeks to ramp up growth in the huge US market.

It recently clinched a break into the lucrative US market by entering a strategic relationship with aviation and defence manufacturers Northrop Grumman..

"Our deals in the US at the moment are fairly small," Richardson told BusinessDesk. "But we are thinking big. There's no point going there for $100,000 and $200,000 deals. We're thinking about how to go to the US for multi-million dollar deals.

"The reality is that we really focused on 2014 for that to become revenue."

The issue of capital-raising would occur in the context of supporting such fast growth. The major shareholders of Jade and Wynyard are the UK-based Skipton Building Society with 57 percent and a private US investor, who owns 25 percent.

Jade's total revenue last year was in the region of $35 million, with Wynyard believed to be about half of that, but growing quickly since its launch in March last year, and with the potential to eclipse Jade.

Wynyard's software helps manage and connect mission critical risk management, intelligence and investigations cycles, and is already used by a range of banks, police forces and intelligence agencies globally, as well as attracting significant contracts with New Zealand agencies and private sector customers.

"Wynyard is very well positioned in this high growth, specialist technology market and our board has recognised the importance of a strong, mission-focused management team," said Richardson in a statement on the separation from Jade.

Jade's chair, Ruth Richardson, announced Jade's current chief operating officer, David Lindsay, has been appointed managing director of Jade and will lead the company's global marine terminal (Master Terminal), enterprise and mobile development (JOOB Mobile) and infrastructure service business.

Jade last raised capital in December 2010 when it sold a payroll business for $8.5 million to help fund Wynyard's development.

By Pattrick Smellie - BusinessDesk

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