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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Infratil

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Infratil on offer for Energy Developments

Nov. 30 (BusinessWire) – New Zealand shares rose, led by Infratil Ltd. after the investment group said it supported a takeover offer for its 32% owned Energy Developments.

The NZX 50 index gained 31.08, or 1%, to 3125.52. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 14 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover of $132.6 million was boosted by trading on the local bourse in ASX-listed shares such as Telstra Corp.

Infratil climbed 4.5% to $1.63 after the biggest shareholder in Australian alternative energy group Energy Developments pledged support for a A$431 million takeover bid from a group affiliated to private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners at A$2.72 per share. Energy Developments jumped 11% to A$2.68 on the ASX today.

“Infratil believes that A$2.75 per share represents fair value for ENE and its shareholders,” chief executive Marko Bogoievski said.

Telstra Corp. rose 0.7% to $4.35 on the NZX after Australia’s largest phone company said it will rejig its structure and fold the New Zealand business into a single trans-Tasman market, the company announced today. Chief executive David Thodey split the company’s product portfolio into two businesses broadly along fixed-line and wireless lines, and created a new international unit to focus on building the telecommunications company’s reach into Asia.

Rival Telecom Corp., New Zealand’s biggest phone company, gained 2.5% to $2.46.

Allied Farmers fell 7.4% to 25 cents after Hanover Finance’s independent directors concluded that Allied’s $400 million all-stock takeover offer is the best option for its investors, who may otherwise have to take their chances with a receivership. Existing shareholders of Allied will end up owning just 5% of the enlarged group.

“We are of the view that Allied Farmers has the potential to add real value enhancement to the Hanover and United loan and property assets that is not possible under the Debt Restructure Plan (DRP) currently in place,” said David Henry, chairman and independent director of Hanover.

OceanaGold Corp. tumbled 13% to $2.12 after the operator of the Macraes gold project said it knew of no reason for its recent share-price spike other than the soaring price of gold and its increased assessment of reserves at the Otago site.

Fletcher Building, the nation’s biggest construction company, climbed 1.4% to $7.84 after government figures showed New Zealand home-building approvals rose for a fourth straight month in October.

The number of consents issued surged 11.7% to 1,397 in October, seasonally adjusted, from the previous month, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Steel & Tube Holdings, which supplies steel building products, fell 1.5% to $2.71.

Methven Ltd., the tapware and bathroom fittings group, surged 7.4% to $1.60 after posting a 15% decline in first-half profit, beating its forecast on more robust returns in Australia and New Zealand, and smaller losses from the U.S. The company reiterated its full-year forecast and said it expects to cut debt more than it had previously estimated.

NZX Ltd. fell 0.5% to $7.84. The stock exchange manager today announced the acquisition of Australian Crop Forecasters. No price was given. ACF publishes monthly subscription reports on Australian grain supply and demand, NZX said in a statement today.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances sank 3.3% to 58 cents, adding to its 7.7% slide on Friday, when the appliances manufacturer posted a first-half loss and lowered its forecast for the full-year. The net loss of $82.4 million included a $55.6 million charge against its North American business.

Smartpay Ltd. rose 2.4% to 4.3 cents, clawing back some of Friday’s decline when the eftpos company reported that it had turned to a first-half profit. Net profit was $353,000 in the six months ended Sept. 30, from a $2.7million loss. No dividend is being paid.


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