By Paul McBeth

Nov. 2 (BusinessDesk) - Moa Group, the boutique beer maker in the first initial public offer of the year, has closed its public pool early after reaching its $16 million capital raising target, effectively thumbing its nose at naysayers who sneered at the racy photos and advertising in the investment statement.

The company raised $15 million from institutional investors and clients of NZX firms, plus an extra $1 million from the public pool at a $1.25 apiece, it said in a statement. Investors who didn't pre-register by 5pm today missed out, Moa said.

"We are delighted with the support for the offer - from brokers, institutions and the broader public," chief executive Geoff Ross said. "Unfortunately we simply can't satisfy all applications, but do hope these people will join post listing and continue to enjoy the Moa range of beers."

At the time of the offer, Ross told BusinessDesk the document targeted the 30 to 50 year-old, high income men that Moa seeks as both customers and investors as it pushes to create an identifiably New Zealand brand in the fast-growing boutique beer market, especially the US.

"It is somewhat Mad Men," he said, appealing to "men who want moments of manhood."

The investment statement's advertising and questionable photographs of women in school-girl uniforms raised eyebrows, but got the all-clear from the Financial Markets Authority.

Moa needs the money to build a new $6.1 million brewing facility, and cover the $1.6 million cost of the float. It expects it will burn through about $4.4 million of that cash by the end of the 2014 financial year, leaving it with cash of $2.9 million.

The float includes limited recourse loans for the purchase of $1.1 million of redeemable shares under the offer issued at the offer price by Ross, and $525,000 of similar arrangements for other employees.

Ross was the founder and chief executive of 42 Below, which was a listed company for three years prior to its sale to Bacardi in late 2006. His shares vest if the stock price beats 2.2 times the offer price, or $2.75, for 20 trading todays in the third year after the float.

(BusinessDesk)

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