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Original Powerco Shares Deal Confirmed

4 October 2004
N E W S R E L E A S E

Original Powerco Shares Deal Confirmed

A deal is indeed a deal, New Plymouth Mayor Peter Tennent has confirmed today.

Mayor Tennent says he is happy to announce that following the difficulties created by the market reaction to the decision of the Takeovers Panel on the sale of Powerco shares to Prime Infrastructure, matters have been resolved to the satisfaction of the New Plymouth District Council, the Taranaki Electricity and Powerco Wanganui trusts, and Prime.

“We expected to get 62.5 per cent of the deal in cash and the rest in SPARCS, and that is what is happening,” he says.

“Prime has put more cash into the deal and our advisers PricewaterhouseCoopers have arranged a binding agreement to sell all of the surplus SPARCS we receive – beyond the agreed 37.5 per cent of the total price.

“The SPARCS will sell at their par, or full face, value of $1 each.

“The fact that the surplus SPARCS will be on-sold at full face value reaffirms our faith in our advice as to the value of the SPARCS, and guarantees that the council will receive the agreed amount of cash for its Powerco shares.”

At all times the council has had full confidence in the business and legal advice it has received and in the outcome of the deal, says the Mayor.

“Many of the reports run in the media have been ill-informed and misleading throughout the transaction, however as in all these things it is what happens on payday that counts.”

The Mayor says the council unanimously voted for a deal that was in the best interests of the district, with an agreed split of the payment in cash and SPARCS. Since then the landscape had changed with the decision made by the Takeovers Panel.

“I’m very grateful we’ve had the best of advisers working with the council to ensure the interests of the ratepayers in New Plymouth District were protected.

“All of our advisers have been vindicated by the outcome and I thank Prime and our advisers for getting us to the end of what has been a very challenging few weeks,” he says.

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