Lasseters cuts back listing plans

Gaming organisation Lasseters has been hit hard by the recent stock market volatility and has been forced to downgrade its IPO.

The organisation, which has on online presence as well as a four-and-a-half star hotel casino in Alice Springs, has reduced its $40 million float by 25 per cent in an effort to attract investors.

Under the new structure, the offer is seeking to raise up to $30 million by issuing 40 million new shares at 75 cents per share. Lasseters' original float was seeking $40 million through the sale of 30 million new shares and 10 million shares held by existing shareholders priced at $1.

Existing shareholders will no longer be selling shares under the IPO, Lasseters said.

"It's apparent from the volatility of the stock market, especially the Nasdaq in recent weeks, that we've had to review the offer in order to continue to attract investors," Lasseters' managing director, Peter Bridge, said. "The re-pricing of the offer should make it more attractive to a broader base of investors."

Bridge said that despite the setback he is confident Lasseters' offline and online business can generate a profitable return.

"We clearly believe we've differentiated ourselves from pure technology stocks but I think a number of people view us as a bit of blue sky because of our online business. We see the online business as a new delivery method of our existing business," he said.

"Clearly some parts of the community focus on (the online business). We focus on the combined organisation."

Bridge said the closing date of the amended offer is still to be advised, but he anticipated that the offer would close in June. "We are hoping to list before June 30," he said.

In addition to the restructure, Bridge said Lasseters has also opted to work with a number of brokers, rather than the sole original underwriter Macquarie Equity Capital Markets, to attract a broader range of investors. Macquarie will remain the lead broker, Bridge said.

On a brighter note, Bridge said Lasseters became the most visited Australia site by Americans in April, overtaking OzEmail for the first time, according to US internet ratings company PC Data Online. More than two-thirds of Lasseters' 60,000 online customer base comes from the US, Bridge said.

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