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Listing on the NZX Alternative Market

The NZX Alternative Market is a lower cost marketplace, designed for small to medium-sized, fast-growth businesses seeking a safe and efficient alternative capital raising facility. The Alternative Market also allows for ‘tailored use’ by non-traditional entities (e.g. co-operatives) seeking a mechanism for trading and price discovery. In addition to making it easier to list, NZX provides more support through a unique NZX Sponsor function and a more flexible regulatory regime.

The NZX Sponsor function is a key feature available for companies seeking a listing on the Alternative Market, and is designed to assist medium sized businesses access cost-effective information and support needed to become compliant. See for a full list and more information.

NZAX Market Application Documents

The Securities Act (NZX-NZAX Market) Exemption Notice 2005 (“the 2005 notice”), sets out the requirements for the NZAX Offer Document.

The 2005 notice came into effect on 1 June 2005 and replaces the Securities Act (NZX-NZAX Market) Exemption Notice 2003 (“the 2003 notice”) which expired on 31 May 2005.

The 2005 notice carries forward the effect of the 2003 notice, which exempts NZAX Issuers from the requirement to provide an investment statement to prospective investors before they subscribe for securities and instead requires NZAX Issuers to register a prospectus with an alternative schedule of contents.

The 2005 notice also includes a number of minor changes, provision for transitional arrangements to ensure that offers commenced under the 2003 notice can be completed and extends the effect of the exemptions, subject to conditions, so as to enable the following:

  1. offers of previously allotted securities to be made in the same manner as an offer of new securities by an NZAX Issuer, and
  2. a short-form prospectus to be used for offers of equity securities that are to be made to existing holders of equity securities or convertible securities of an NZAX Issuer, or persons in whose favour an offer of this type is renounced.

The 2005 notice also carries forward the amendment made in March 2005 which gave NZAX Issuers the option of making a second or subsequent offer to the public by distributing a copy of the registered prospectus relating to the offer to every subscriber (rather than only being able to undertake subsequent offers on market).

Key Differences between the Alternative Market and Main Board

NZX operates two equity markets: the Alternative Market (AX) and the Main Board (SX). Depending on the size, scope and life-stage of a company, one may prove more suitable for listing than the other. NZX intends to support both markets with increased marketing activities, to raise the profile of all companies to more New Zealand investors. Both markets have strict regulatory regimes that are designed to enhance investor confidence, balanced with the need to make raising public capital in New Zealand as cost-effective as possible.

This table summarises some of the ways the markets differ. However, companies considering listing on one of NZX's markets should consult with an NZX Firm or an NZX Sponsor to decide which market is best. Information on these accredited firms can be found using the AX Sponsors and Find an NZX Participant tools.

 Alternative Market (NZAX)Main Board (NZSX)
Overall positioning
  • NZAX is a lower cost marketplace, designed for small to medium-sized, fast-growth businesses seeking a safe and efficient alternative capital raising facility.
  • NZAX also allows for ‘tailored use’ by non-traditional entities (eg co-operatives) seeking a mechanism for trading and price discovery.
  • NZSX is an established marketplace, designed for mature corporations seeking a full listing on the New Zealand securities market.
  • The NZSX market is home to some of New Zealand’s premium brands, the NZSX 50 (and other indices) and is NZX's heritage market, encompassing a best practice global market infrastructure and regulatory regime.
Who should list?
  • Small to medium sized businesses with existing board and governance procedures in place.
  • While no minimum size criteria has been stipulated, NZAX listings are most suited to companies with turnover of more than $5m per annum.
  • Minimum spread of 50 shareholders required.
  • Large New Zealand enterprises and established businesses.
  • Ideally suited to companies with existing boards, large numbers of shareholders, and revenue in excess of $50m per annum.
  • Minimum spread of 500 shareholders holding at least 25% of the company's shares.
Who to partner with to list
  • Accredited NZX Sponsors can assist companies through listing process.
  • No requirement for an organising broker but an NZX Firm may assist with distribution at IPO.
  • All listings to be arranged through an NZX Firm (organising broker).
Trading and liquidity
  • Client-order matching environment
  • Qualification for SciTech Index
  • Client-order matching environment.
  • Qualification for NZX Indices and ETFs
Listing rules and regulations
  • Two exemptions have been granted from the Securities Act 1978; to enable a simplified offering document and to enable more efficient ongoing capital raising options.
  • No prospective financial statements are required.
  • Single accounting standard (minimising duplication of effort).
  • Greater capital raising flexibility by introduction of all pre-break announcement.
  • More flexible corporate governance standard -no requirement for independent directors
  • Full Securities Act regulations apply.
  • Full Prospectus and Investment Statement required for listing.
  • Globally aligned corporate governance standards including requirements for independent directors
Exchange fees
  • Minimum entry fee of $7,500.
  • Annual fees limited to $5,000 for companies up to $15m market capitalisation.
  • Annual fees for companies over $15m market capitalisation are priced as per NZSX Market.
  • These fees are exclusive of GST and subject to change.
  • Minimum entry fee of $10,000.
  • Annual fees dependent on market capitalisation, ranging from $15,000 to $75,000.
  • These fees are exclusive of GST and subject to change.
Data and Information
  • Simplified access to critical information (hosted by NZX website).
  • Profiling at NZX forums specifically for NZAX Companies
  • Future improvements to website information planned.
  • Analyst coverage by NZX Firms.
Company Support
  • Dedicated help-desk and Listed Companies Relationship manager provided for NZAX issuers.
  • Listing checklists to assist companies through compliance process.
  • Dedicated Listed Company Relations manager for each firm.
  • Investor education planned and marketing initiatives to profile NZSX issuers.