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Napier Port plans mid-July share offer

Napier Port plans mid-July share offer

By Gavin Evans

June 26 (BusinessDesk) - Napier Port plans to kick-off its share offer mid-July and list its stock on the NZX the following month.

The country’s fourth-largest container port will offer up to 45 percent of its shares after the sale was approved by owner Hawke’s Bay Regional Council today.

The sale will include a priority offer for the region’s residents, non-resident ratepayers, iwi and port staff. Detail on how that will be structured has not yet been provided.

Port chairman Alasdair MacLeod said the company had been working hard readying itself for the initial public offer and drafting of a product disclosure statement for the sale is under way.

The council is selling down its stake to help enable the port’s expansion while also freeing up capital for its other activities. When the council consulted ratepayers on its options in October, it had expected the sale of a 45 percent stake in the port would bring in about $181 million. After paying down almost $87 million of port debt, and covering $11 million of sale costs, that would leave the council about $83 million to invest elsewhere.

Council chair Rex Graham says the share sale will enable the port to invest in its future growth, protect ratepayers from those costs, and help diversify the council’s income streams while maintaining majority control.

Among the first port investments is a new wharf, expected to cost between $173 million and $190 million, to help reduce congestion and better cater for the increasing container, cruise ship and log trade it is handling.

“A 45 percent IPO of Napier Port strikes the right balance for Hawke’s Bay in protecting the things that matter most to our region and enabling the regional council to focus its efforts and resources on the pressing issues facing Hawke’s Bay’s natural environment,” Graham said.

Deutsche Craigs and Goldman Sachs New Zealand are joint lead managers of the share sale. Forsyth Barr is the retail co-manager.

(BusinessDesk)

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