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Labour-Greens plan forces government to suspend MightyRiverPower offer, amend documents

Monday 22nd April 2013

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The government has been forced to amend the offer documents for the partial sale of MightyRiverPower to take into account the risk of a Labour-Greens coalition winning the next election and enacting its proposal to slash the price of electricity.

The offer has been temporarily suspended pending the filing of a supplementary disclosure, Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said in a joint statement. It will re-open tomorrow with the new disclosure added. No other aspects of the offer have been changed.

"We received advice that the recent Labour/Greens proposal, if they were elected, to effectively replace competition with a state agency to act as a single buyer of wholesale electricity from generators, could be material to decisions to invest in MightyRiverPower shares," English said.

Because the offer document is effectively being amended, people who have already applied for shares have the right to withdraw their applications. Such requests will be accepted for five working days, the ministers said.

The supplementary document is being lodged with the Registrar of Financial Service Providers this afternoon, they said.

MightyRiverPower will also run advertisements in major newspapers tomorrow to publicise the change.

The Labour-Greens proposal to establish, a central buying agency and market regulator, NZ Power, that would tender for new generation capacity has given the opposition parties their greatest traction since National came to power.

It has provoked howls of outrage in some quarters, being described as economic vandalism. Yet support has come from commercial operators including Simon Mackenzie, chief executive of lines company Vector.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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