Dotcom's Mega fails to list in NZ
Published 06/05/2015 | 05:11
Internet file-storage company Mega, launched in 2013 by wanted entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, has failed in a bid to list on New Zealand's stock market.
Mega announced plans last year to list through a manoeuvre known as a reverse takeover.
But TRS Investments, the intended vehicle for the listing, filed a notice with the market saying Mega failed to get approval from its shareholders for the takeover.
Dotcom previously founded file-sharing site Megaupload, which became wildly popular before it was shut down by US authorities in 2012.
US prosecutors are seeking to extradite Dotcom from New Zealand on racketeering charges, accusing him of facilitating massive piracy of songs and movies.
Dotcom says he cannot be held responsible for those who used Megaupload for illegal downloading.
His extradition hearing has been delayed several times and is now due to be heard some time after September 1.
Documents filed with the stock exchange put Mega's value at 210 million New Zealand dollars (£116 million), although it would have been up to investors to decide a market value if trading had commenced.
TRS chairman Keith Jackson said the failure to list Mega was disappointing. He said TRS shareholders never got a chance to vote on the plan after repeated delays from Mega and Mega had borne the costs of the failed plan.
Mega chairman Stephen Hall said all of its shareholders had agreed to the plan in principle but there had been a series of delays, on which he declined to elaborate.
He said the owners of Mega were happy for it to continue as a private company for now, but still wanted to list it on a stock market and were looking at options in several other countries.
"We've got 30,000 people a day signing up as new registered users and now have over 18 million users," he said.
But Mega has run into difficulties. Visa, MasterCard and PayPal stopped providing payment services after others raised concerns about the legitimacy of Mega and what it might be hosting on its encrypted site.
Mr Hall said Mega users could still make payments by a variety of methods depending on their location.
Dotcom stepped down as a director of Mega in 2013. He does not own any stock, although a family trust controlled by his ex-wife Mona Dotcom owns a 15.5% stake.
Three other former Megaupload principals who are also fighting extradition to the US now work for Mega.