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Residents missed share buying opportunity

Chairperson disappointed residents missed share buying opportunity

Ratepayers and residential investors should have been given the opportunity to buy some of Auckland City’s airport shares at the same price as institutional purchasers, says the chairperson of the council’s Auckland International Airport Working Party, Councillor Douglas Armstrong.

Last week the council announced the sale of half of its 25.6% shareholding in the airport at $4.90 per share, a discount to the then market price of $5.16.

Councillor Armstrong says he is very disappointed indeed that a minority of five councillors, who were opposed to the sale, prevented the issuing of a prospectus that would have enabled the council to offer shares to the public on favourable terms – with the city’s ratepayers and residents being given a priority allocation.

“The council consulted widely and took a democratic majority decision to sell down its shareholding in the airport. It is sad and unfortunate that the preferred sales process was not able to be undertaken. Instead, the council was restricted to selling its shares directly to local and overseas institutions. This meant that the public missed out on the opportunity to buy shares at the discounted market price.”

Councillor Armstrong says he can understand why many residents and ratepayers feel aggrieved that they could not purchase shares directly from the council at around $4.90.

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