Rakon founders buy 367,000 shares after Chinese factory sell-down

Rakon’s founding Robinson family, which has the biggest stake in the company and three seats at the board, bought almost 367,000 shares in the ailing GPS components maker last week for about $81,500.

The two on-market purchases on July 9 and 11 were at an average price of 22.2 cents per share, and came after the Auckland-based firm said it’s selling 80 percent of a Chinese joint venture factory to a Chinese electronics manufacturer for US$18.8million in a bid to cut debt.

On Friday, Rakon chairman Bryan Mogridge dismissed concerns by the New Zealand Shareholders’ Association over an unusual gain in the company’s share price ahead of the sell-down, saying “no company directors or staff, or their related parties, who are required to comply with the company’s Securities Trading Policy, have sought or been granted approval to buy or sell shares before the announcement.”

Rakon’s shares are the worst performing on the exchange over the past 12 months, shedding 50 percent. The stock rose 4.4 percent to 24 cents today, valuing the company at $45.8 million.

The company reported a loss of $32.8 million in the year ended March 31, wearing a $17.3 million impairment charge on its China-Timemaker and New Zealand units, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $5.1 million, near the bottom end of a twice-downgraded forecast.

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