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Powerco jumbo equity raising offer proceeds apace


Friday 18th October 2002

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Powerco has raised the $102 million it sought from institutions as part of a "jumbo" offer announced earlier this week, at $1.60 per share.

The company's offer, open in separate parts to institutions and retail investors, entitles holders to one new Powerco share for every 2.37 shares held today.

The remaining $48 million of the offer, which opens on November 5 and closes on November 29, will be taken up by the retail sector, with the same entitlement ratio as for institutions, also at $1.60 per share.

Powerco expected to issue a total of 93.75 million shares, the company said in a statement today.

An investment statement and prospectus will be mailed to Powerco shareholders on November 4.

Macquarie Bank is organising the "jumbo placement", New Zealand's first -- a combination of a rights issue and a share placement.

Properly described as a priority entitlement offer, the method gained the nickname in Australia because it allowed listed companies to make large placements of shares to institutional investors.

The new shares will not confer any entitlement to the interim dividend of six cents per share to be paid on November 25. The expected date for the first payment of dividends on the new shares is June 2003.

Powerco will use the proceeds to purchase UnitedNetworks' electricity network business and assets in the Tauranga, eastern and southern Waikato, Thames and Coromandel regions, for which Powerco is paying $785 million.

The company also proposes to pay $220 million for UnitedNetworks' gas network business and assets in the Wellington, Manawatu, Horowhenua and Hawke's Bay regions.

The rights are non-renounceable, meaning if a shareholder decides not to take up their rights, they cannot be onsold to anyone else.

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