Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


NZ Treasury head of asset sales John Crawford calls it quits

NZ Treasury head of asset sales John Crawford calls it quits

By Pattrick Smellie

March 24 (BusinessDesk) – The head of the Treasury unit in charge of the partial privatisation process is leaving to pursue roles in the private sector on the eve of the last of the four asset sales undertaken over the past 13 months.

John Crawford will leave the Treasury at the end of this week after almost six years as a public servant and told BusinessDesk he had looked for but not found other opportunities in the public sector.

Genesis shares will be priced at the end of this week and list on the NZX and ASX on April 17.

Crawford initially served in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet first under Prime Minister Helen Clark and then John Key. He headed the reintegration of the Crown Operating Monitoring Unit, formerly a standalone entity known as the Crown Company Monitoring and Advisory Unit, into the Treasury, and was placed in charge of the transactions arm of the unit.

That led him not only into the privatisation process, but also into the management of the Crown’s interest in the receivership of collapsed finance company South Canterbury Finance and the rescue package for the state-owned coal miner Solid Energy.

“Once the Genesis transaction was conceived an designed, I decided to return to Auckland unless a substantial role that suited my particular skills emerged in the public sector,” said Crawford, who has commuted from Auckland to Wellington for much of the past six years.

The asset sales policy has been politically unpopular and there were criticisms of over-pricing of the MightyRiverPower float last May, and failing to excite investor interest in the Meridian Energy float last year.

The Genesis float is attracting more bouquets from the investment community, in part because the prospective listing price range of $1.35 to $1.65 a share is seen as low, while offering what broking firm Forsyth Barr last week called a “turbo-charged” dividend yield in its first two years.

That’s partly because retail investors who hold Genesis shares for at least a year will receive one bonus share for every 15 shares they buy in the float, raising the dividend yield in the 2015 financial year to between 13.5 percent and 16.5 percent.

Least controversial was the institutional placement of shares in Air New Zealand before Christmas, taking the government’s controlling stake in the company from 74 percent to 51 percent.

Crawford defended the structure of the MRP and Meridian floats.

“The right decisions were made on the information we had at the time,” he said. He would not be drawn on the impacts of the Labour-Greens single buyer New Zealand Power policy proposals.

Also hitting the process was the renegotiation of Meridian’s contracts to supply electricity to the Rio Tinto-controlled aluminium smelter at Tiwai Point. That sharpened investor and public focus on the potential for the smelter to reduce or terminate operations, which currently use about one-seventh of the country’s total electricity output.

As a result, and because Solid Energy was pulled from the sale process because of its financial distress, the programme will undershoot its original $5 billion to $7 billion target for funds raised to fund government capital projects, instead of raising additional government debt.

Since the Supreme Court decision on Feb 25 last year allowing asset sales to go ahead, there had been three IPO’s, as well as the Solid Energy negotiation.

“It’s been an incredible 13 months in terms of what’s been achieved,” said Crawford.

Prior to joining DPMC and then Treasury, Crawford worked in corporate advisory roles at Boston Consulting Group and in merchant banking for Deutsche Bank in New Zealand.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Fruit & Veg Crackdown: Auckland Fruit Fly Find Under Investigation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn... MPI has placed legal controls on the movement of fruit and some vegetables outside of a defined circular area which extends 1.5km from where the fly was trapped in Grey Lynn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Westpac NZ Reaches $2.97M Swaps Settlement

Westpac Banking Corp’s New Zealand unit has agreed to pay $2.97 million in a settlement with the Commerce Commission over the way the bank sold interest rate swaps to farmers between 2005 and 2012. More>>

ALSO:

Going Dutch: Fonterra Kicks Off $144M Partnership With Dutch Cheese Maker

Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world’s largest dairy exporter, has commissioned a new dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen, in the north of the Netherlands, its first wholly-owned and operated ingredients plant in Europe. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Retail Sales Beat Estimates

New Zealand retail sales rose more than expected in the fourth quarter, led by vehicle-related transactions, food and beverages, adding to evidence that cheap credit and a growing jobs market are encouraging consumers to spend. More>>

ALSO:

Delivery Cuts Go Ahead: 'Government Money Grab' From NZ Post

"It's a money grab by the Government as the shareholder of New Zealand Post" says Postal Workers Union advocate Graeme Clarke about the changes announced by NZ Post. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news