Trustpower moves to mop up remaining 35% of King Country Energy
By Paul McBeth
Dec. 7 (BusinessDesk) - Trustpower plans to mop up the remaining 35 percent of King Country Energy that it doesn't own, signing a deal with previous hold-out King Country Electric Power Trust to buy out minority shareholders.
The Tauranga-based utility company will form a joint venture with the trust, which owns 19.98 percent of King Country Energy, which will then make a takeover offer for the central North Island electricity generator and retailer, it said in a statement.
Trustpower had a two-tier pricing scheme when it launched its original takeover in 2015, offering $5 per share if it reached at least 70.2 percent, or $4.78 if it fell short of that mark. It ultimately attracted a 65 percent stake, including Todd Corp's Nova Energy holding.
King Country Energy shares trade on the Unlisted platform, and were last at $4.50 before entering a trading halt on Dec. 3.
King Country Electric Power Trust rejected Trustpower's offer in 2015, saying at the time it saw the holding as a cornerstone investment and regarded Trustpower as an "excellent partner" for the power company. Earlier this year the trust reviewed its interest and decided to keep it.
Turstpower shares last traded at $5.98 and have jumped 26 percent this year, outperforming other electricity generator and retailers on the S&P/NZX 50 index which have gained between 14-and-17 percent.