Jetpack shares dip as Martin Aircraft Company shareholders offload
A recent prototype of the Martin Jetpack.
Shares of ASX-listed Jetpack company Martin Aircraft Company, which markets an inventor’s machine from Christchurch, plunged last week to a new low of A14 cents per share.
The drop is due to disappointment with progress, but more immediately because about 30 initial investors have been released from trade restrictions under ASX rules, chief executive James West said.
One or more of them have been cashing in since the restrictions were lifted on February 24, he said.
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The share price fell from 45cA last September to 1.75A $ two years ago, amid dissatisfaction among shareholders.
Among them, Ralf Rodl who made his dissatisfaction known on various social forums and YouTube.
He is one of many shareholders who have collectively invested more than $ 80 million in the development of the company, which is seeking an additional $ 10 million, subscribed by its 52% Chinese shareholder KuangChi Science.
Rodl said he should not have invested all of his A $ 1.1 million savings and was dismayed that he did not meet the prospectus forecast and the departure last year of two directors and former managing director Peter Coker.
Rodl feared it would be only a matter of time before Chinese shareholders took control of the invention, and he was considering a class action lawsuit.
The current Managing Director West admitted there had been delays. The focus was now on getting certified, which was essential before the Jetpack could be marketed as a commercial-ready machine, he said.
Obtaining certification was a long and expensive process, West said.
The most likely commercial application of the Jetpack would be working on communications networks, aerial observation for a range of industries including construction, and rescues where planes and fixed-wing helicopters couldn’t go. .
The release of the shares for trading last week was restricted under ASX rules when Martin Aircraft Company was listed in February 2015.
The 30 shareholders subject to the restrictions included Christchurch-based Jetpack inventor Glenn Martin, but under ASX rules the identity of the sellers does not have to be disclosed as each holds less than 5% of the capital. .
67 million shares were paid up, or 20% of the 396 million shares issued.