Another setback for Tritium as Nasdaq calls out EV charger manufacturer over listing standard

Another setback for Tritium as Nasdaq calls out EV charger manufacturer over listing standard

Photo: Tritium, via Facebook.

After restructuring its shares by one-to-200 in order to propel the price above Nasdaq's minimum requirement of $1, Brisbane-based electric vehicle (EV) fast charger manufacturer is now putting out another fire with the US regulator.

First the problem was the share price, now it's the number of shares on issue.

Overnight the company revealed it had received a notice from the regulator advising it did not meet the minimum 1.1 million publicly listed shares required for continued listing as per the Nasdaq public float standard.

Before the reverse stock split Tritium had more than 217 million shares on issue, which the company described as large relative to others of a similar size and market capitalisation. 

In advocating for a re-engineering of the share price and number of shares, former unicorn Tritium argued that the lower price level implied "negative perceptions" and precluded investment from particular investors who may be restricted from investing below certain thresholds.

In addition, the group noted that administrative costs associated with managing a large volume of shares were also an impediment. 

Tritium's own Form 6-K submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) acknowledged that the forecast number of shares post-consolidation would be just above 1.088 million - in other words, marginally shy of the public float standard, making one wonder why a slightly different proportion wasn't chosen to avoid such an issue.

In an announcement, Tritium said it planned to discuss the public float standard with Nasdaq at a scheduled hearings panel that was called for in response to the previous price shortfall notice. 

"The company intends to demonstrate a plan to regain compliance with the public float standard and intends to take all necessary steps for its shares to remain trading on Nasdaq until such time as the Nasdaq hearings panel makes a final determination," Tritium stated.

The news follows statements yesterday from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese that Tritium's closure of its Brisbane factory was an "example of a lost opportunity".

"Tritium were producing the fastest EV charging stations in the world, and were exporting them," the Prime Minister said.

"They made a commercial decision based upon the settings that were there, based upon, in part, the incentives that are there in the Inflation Reduction Act."

His comments relate to Tritium's decision in November last year to shut the Brisbane factory, although its Brisbane office and testing centre remains operational with an electromagnetic chamber for testing that is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere, designed to deliver up to 720kW of regenerative power.

Shortly after listing on the Nasdaq in early 2022, Tritium announced a new manufacturing facility in the southern US state of Tennessee that opened in August of that year. Tritium's development and expected job creation in the US was even highlighted by US President Joe Biden in an announcement around EV charger roll-out plans.

"It would be an understatement to say that this has been a very exciting month for Tritium. We listed on the NASDAQ, we rang the bell on Australia Day on the 26th, and now we have this opportunity to share Tritium's US manufacturing plans with the American people," Tritium's CEO Jane Hunter said at the press conference.

"This vision of transport powered by renewable energy has inspired our team since 2012 when we built our first fast charger - a seismic technology."

Tritium has fallen from its unicorn status to a current market capitalisation of just US$4.29 million, with a share price of US$5.07 that represents a significant drop even since the reverse share split recently when it was worth close to US$9.

This is a remarkably low valuation for a company that achieved record revenue of $112 million in the first half of calendar 2023 and has previously signalled that staff cuts and other optimisations would put it on the path to profitability this year.

However, by this stage of the year in 2023 Tritium had already reported its performance expectations for the prior year, whereas lately its announcements have been more focused on compliance matters without any indication of 2023 sales or the bottom line.

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