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Macquarie called on for $23.8M

Chorus dividend reinvestment plan underwriter Macquarie called on for $23.8M

By Paul McBeth

Oct. 2 (BusinessDesk) - Macquarie Securities (NZ) will pay $23.8 million for 6.3 million new Chorus shares as the underwriter for the telecommunications network operator's dividend reinvestment programme.

About 54 percent of Chorus's shares took up the dividend reinvestment programme, up from 45 percent previously, meaning about $23.6 million will be paid in cash on Oct. 10 when 12.5 cents per share dividend is due. Wellington-based Chorus announced the DRP price of $3.7672 today, a 3 percent discount to the five-day average trading price. The stock closed at $3.92 on Friday.

When announcing the final dividend at the company's annual result on Aug. 28, chief executive Kate McKenzie and chair Patrick Strange said the dividend reinvestment programme had been popular and would be available to help the company retain cash. About three weeks later the network operator said the DRP would be underwritten.

Chorus had cash and equivalents of $170 million as at June 30, generating a cash flow of $524 million in the year from operations, compared to $435 million a year earlier. The company's capital expenditure was $639 million in the 2017 financial year, which it sees rising to between $780 million and $820 million in the year ending June 30, 2018 as it steps up the pace of work on the expanded national fibre network roll-out.



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