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NZ Super Fund undecided on Bloom Energy stake after IPO docs filed

Wednesday 13th June 2018

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The New Zealand Superannuation Fund hasn't decided on what to do with its stake in US fuel cell maker Bloom Energy, which yesterday signalled plans to go public.

The NZ Super Fund first invested in California, US-based Bloom in 2013 with a US$50 million stake and followed that up the following year with a further US$50 million but doesn't appear as a substantial shareholder with at least 5 percent. Since its 2001 founding, Bloom has reportedly raised about US$2 billion in debt and equity, and in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said it plans to sell US$100 million of stock in an initial public offering and listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Bloom said in a statement the size and price of the offer hasn't been finalised.

The alternative energy company had planned to go public two years ago, but shelved those plans when a federal government subsidy for alternative energy systems was allowed to expire. That tax credit was restored when US President signed off on the federal budget in February, re-opening the door for an IPO.

The NZ Super Fund hasn't decided whether it will hang on to its Bloom stock or use the IPO as a chance to exit.

"As an investor with a long time horizon and ample liquidity the fund is able to pick and choose when it exits from active investments, and will do so to maximise returns for the whole portfolio," a spokeswoman said in an email. "Any decision to exit would be reflective of pricing and any restrictions that may apply to existing shareholders."

In the June 2017 financial year, NZ Super said Bloom's achievements included forming a partnership with Indian natural gas firm GAIL.

Bloom's offer document shows the power cell maker reported a net loss to equity holders of US$262.6 million in calendar 2017, including US$108.6 million of interest costs and a US$15 million unrealised loss on derivatives. The operating loss narrowed to US$157.3 million from US$241 million in 2016, with revenue climbing 80 percent to US$376 million.

(BusinessDesk)

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