SLI Systems, a Christchurch-based developer of website search software whose clients include Warehouse Group and Qantas, is considering raising $27 million next month selling shares to new and existing investors that will trade on the NZX.

Trade Me founder Sam Morgan is among shareholders and its board is led by PowerbyProxi executive chairman Greg Cross and includes Xero chairman Sam Knowles and Pioneer Capital Partners Matthew Houtman.

SLI Systems has been set up to acquire SLI Systems Inc, the US business originally set up in Christchurch in 2001 and later bought back from its US owner.

According to the latest SLI Systems Inc accounts filed with the Companies Office, operating income rose 17 percent to $12.8 million in the 12 months ended June 30, 2011.

Wages and salaries were the biggest expense, rising to $7.5 million from $6.1 million. It posted a loss of $91,436 as expenses rose faster than revenue and it paid more tax.

Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr have been hired as joint lead managers and organising participants for the offer. Some $15 million of capital will be raised in an initial public offering and $12 million of shares will be sold to existing shareholders.

The funds will be used to “recruit additional sales and marketing staff, expand into new markets and fund the development of new and existing products”, chief executive and co-founder Shaun Ryan says in the statement.

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