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Meridian says Bank of New York Mellon has 3.98 percent of company, not 8.12 percent

Thursday 31st October 2013

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Meridian Energy, which listed on the New Zealand stock exchange on Tuesday, says Bank of New York Mellon Corp. has just 3.98 percent of the company, after the bank filed a substantial security notice today stating a higher figure.

New York-based BNY Mellon, which has US$1.5 trillion of assets under management, said earlier today it had acquired 102 million of the 1.256 billion common shares on issue, taking its stake to 8.12 percent, which is over the 5 percent threshold requiring investors to declare their ownership through a notice to the stock exchange.

However Meridian later clarified that it has a total of 2.563 billion shares on issue, meaning the investor has just a 3.98 percent stake. The stock exchange, which also uses the 1.256 billion figure, has now added a note to the Meridian description on its website stating that its metrics have been calculated on the basis of the issued instalment receipts, rather than the company's issued ordinary shares.

New Zealand's government sold 49 percent of Meridian, the nation's largest energy electricity retailer and generator, in an initial public offering this month. Meridian Energy's instalment receipts debuted at $1.08 on Tuesday after tepid demand in the initial public offering saw the stock sold at the bottom of the indicative range of $1.50 to $1.80, with a smaller-than-expected pool of investors. The stock slipped 0.5 percent to $1.095 today.

Meridian chief executive Mark Binns said he welcomed the news that BNY Mellon subsidiary Newton Investment Management had demonstrated confidence in Meridian through its investment.

The government offered the Meridian shares in instalment receipts to sweeten the offer, with $1 upfront and the promise of full entitlement to dividends, and the remaining 50 cents in May 2015.

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