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Infratil wouldn't approve Mercury move above 19.99% of Tilt

Infratil says it wouldn't approve Mercury move above 19.99% of Tilt

By Jonathan Underhill

May 15 (BusinessDesk) - Infratil, the investment company that owns 50.8 percent of Tilt Renewables, says it wouldn't approve new shareholder Mercury NZ increasing its current 19.99 percent holding, having made its own offer for the stock.

Yesterday Mercury said it agreed to buy 19.99 percent of Tilt, the wind and solar generation company split from Infratil-controlled Trustpower in 2016, from the Tauranga Electricity Consumer Trust (Tect) for $144 million, or $2.30 a share, a 24 percent premium to its last trading price. Auckland-based Mercury said it had a six-month option to buy the trust's remaining 6.8 percent holding in Tilt at the same price but under New Zealand's Takeovers Code any move above 20 percent would likely require it to make an offer for the whole company.

In a separate statement today, Wellington-based Infratil said it had tabled its own proposal to acquire Tect's 26.7 percent holding as part of Tect's sale process and as part of that process had "clarified that it was unlikely to provide approval (as the majority shareholder in Tilt) for any other acquirer to move beyond a 19.99 percent ownership interest or offer any additional governance rights."

"While we welcome interest in any of our portfolio businesses, Infratil and Mercury currently have no agreement, arrangement or understanding in relation to Tilt," Infratil investor relations manager Mark Flesher said in the statement.

Mercury agreed to acquire the initial fifth of Tilt and take an option on the remaining 6.8 percent earlier this month.

Tilt's shares rose 1 percent to $2.02, having jumped 9 percent yesterday. Mercury fell 1.4 percent to $3.11 and Infratil rose 0.9 percent to $3.24.

(BusinessDesk)

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