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Utilico sells down stake in Infratil


Wednesday 13th July 2011

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Infrastucture investor Infratil says its largest shareholder, Utilico Investments, is selling off 30 million shares from its stake, with half of them going to Wellington investment banker Lloyd Morrison's firm H R L Morrison & Co, which manages Infratil.

"This is a great opportunity for Morrison & Co to increase its shareholding in Infratil based on our belief in Infratil's positive outlook," Lloyd Morrison said in a statement. He will pay $27.75 million to lift the firm's holdings in Infratil to a 12 percent stake.

Slightly less will be paid by an American institutional investor, which will get its 15 million shares at $1.80 each.

UK-listed Utilico Investments lists as one of its managers a veteran Infratil director, Duncan Saville.

Utilico last year sold 8 million Infratil shares for $14.18m, at a price of $1.77/share, which reduced its stake to 113m shares.

Infratil shares traded today at $1.81 after falling about 8 percent this year while the NZX-50 Index gained 3 percent.

Morrison and Co already holds 26.3 million shares. The transaction will be subject to shareholder approval at Infratil's annual meeting on August 15.

The company said the deals will leave 77 percent of Infratil’s shares New Zealand-owned, and that Utilico’s holding would fall 13.7 percent from 18.6 percent.

Companies Office files showed the company's main block of 289 million shares was registered in the name of NZ Central Securities Depository Ltd.

Infratil chief executive Marko Bogoievski said the company had been trying to lift the profile of Infratil to investors outside New Zealand in a bid to diversify its capital base.

While the US sale was a transfer of shares between offshore holders, it was a positive signal to have a significant new offshore investor on Infratil's register, he said.


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