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Auckland Airport announces capital return

28 November 2013

Auckland Airport announces capital return

Auckland Airport has announced today that it intends to seek shareholder and court approval to return $454 million of capital to its shareholders.

Sir Henry van der Heyden, Auckland Airport’s Chair, says the company is focused on being fast, efficient and effective as part of its five-year business strategy, Faster, Higher, Stronger.

“To be efficient, we need to effectively manage our operating costs, our capital expenditure and have an efficient mixture of equity and debt. In order to achieve this the Board of Directors has proposed to return capital to our shareholders,” says Sir Henry.

“The Company’s strong performance over the past five years, including our successful property development and retail businesses and our investments in other airports, means we currently have a less efficient mix of equity and debt than we had in the past.”

“By returning capital to our shareholders we can improve our balance of equity and debt, returning to levels achieved in 2011.”

“Auckland Airport is committed to providing critical airport infrastructure for New Zealand and is currently investing in an important upgrade to the domestic terminal as well as planning to deliver our 30-year vision of the ‘airport of the future’. The Company remains well placed to deliver on these developments even with the return of capital.”

“We value the funding flexibility provided by a stable A- credit rating and the capital return should help us retain such flexibility. This is important if we are to continue to invest in future growth opportunities for the benefit of our customers, the city and New Zealand.”

“Auckland Airport will seek court and shareholder approval to cancel 1 in 10 of its shares. The amount each shareholder will receive per share cancelled will be $3.43, approximately equal to the closing share price of Auckland Airport shares immediately prior to this announcement.”

“It is important that every shareholder understands that the return of capital will not alter their proportionate shareholding in the company or their proportionate voting and distribution rights.”

“A portion of the capital returned to shareholders will be treated as a dividend for tax purposes and will receive imputation credits at the company tax rate of 28%. The Company will not be paying an interim dividend to shareholders for the 2014 financial year.”

The capital return will be implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement to be approved by shareholders at a special meeting and by the High Court under Part XV of the Companies Act 1993.

“With the approval of the Court and our shareholders we hope to have completed the return of capital mid-April 2014.”

More information is available online at: http://www.aucklandairport.co.nz/Corporate/Investors

Ends

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