Local firms go Down Under for reverse IPO in Australian market

September 3, 2016

Syntonic Wireless, a Seattle technology company, was approached this summer by a number of Australian firms hoping to buy the mobile tech business. But the Australian companies weren’t pitching their technology or talented employees as an enticing reason for Syntonic to join them.

Instead, the companies wanted to merge with Syntonic for their most valuable remaining asset — a place on the Australian stock exchange.

Syntonic eventually merged with Pacific Ore Limited, a defunct mining company, in a “reverse takeover.” Syntonic changed the trading symbol to “SYT” and the company, based in Pioneer Square, became publicly traded.

The company’s move, also known as a “reverse IPO,” is the second time in the past year that a Seattle tech business has gone public this way in Australia. Internet of Things software company Buddy Platform merged its way onto the Australian Securities Exchange in December.

A reverse IPO does not have the hurdles of a traditional IPO, which requires attracting significant new investors and wading through a mountain of legal paperwork.

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