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Capital Bond Issue

Tuesday 5th February 2002

Chairman Barry Upson announced today that Powerco intends to launch a $100M capital bond issue in the New Zealand market in the first half of this year subject to shareholder approval.

Mr Upson announced that this issue will provide longer-term securities to replace the present short term bank facility, which was utilised to acquire the Hutt Valley and Porirua Basin gas distribution networks from AGL late in 2001.

The launch of these capital bonds follows Powerco's continued growth achievements over the past five years. Powerco continually reviews its capital structure to provide the necessary platform for future acquisitions, mergers and other growth initiatives, Mr Upson said.

A process is underway to select a Lead Manager to assist with the issue of the capital bonds, said Mr Upson.

Shareholders will be asked to approve the issue at a shareholders meeting planned for the first half of the year Mr Upson said. Mr Upson stated that terms and conditions including pricing will be confirmed closer to the date of the issue.

Powerco has a large existing base of New Zealand based shareholders and bondholders associated with its current capital framework Mr Upson said. An issue of capital bonds will provide additional opportunities to expand the current breadth of New Zealand support in the marketplace whilst providing opportunities for existing security holders to increase their investment Mr Upson highlighted.

Powerco is New Zealand's third largest electricity and gas distribution utility with around 205,000 consumers connected to networks in Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Wairarapa and Wellington. The company shareholder numbers have increased to more than 16700 and there are almost 11,300 existing bondholders.

ends


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