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Contact Gains Commerce Commission Clearance

Contact Gains Commerce Commission Clearance To Acquire Taranaki Combined Cycle Power Station

Contact Energy‘s Chief Executive, Mr Stephen Barrett, today welcomed the Commerce Commission’s decision to grant a clearance for Contact’s proposed acquisition of the 357 MW Taranaki Combined Cycle (TCC) power station.

On 23 December 2002, Contact and NGC Holdings Ltd (NGC) announced the proposed $500 million transaction, noting that it was subject to a number of pre-conditions, including Commerce Commission clearance.

“Today’s decision by the Commission is an important milestone, and allows the parties to move ahead with this important initiative” said Mr Barrett.

“The transaction requires the approval of a majority of NGC shareholders, and we understand that an special meeting of those shareholders will be called shortly.”

NGC’s majority shareholder, The Australian Gas Light Company has already indicated it intends to support the sale of the TCC power station to Contact.

“Our present expectation is that settlement of the sale will occur in early March” said Mr Barrett.

“Contact has sufficient bridging facilities in place to fund the transaction, and intends to refinance these facilities by the issuance of long term senior debt into the US private placement market.”

Contact is currently working with its banking advisers to have the long term debt raising completed by the end of March.”
TCC is a four year-old, 357 MW plant situated near Stratford and will complement Contact's existing thermal generation fleet at Otahuhu-B (380MW), Otahuhu-A (40MW), New Plymouth (400MW), and Te Rapa (44MW). Contact also has geothermal and hydro power stations capable of producing a total of 996MW.

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