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Horizon Energy to consider ownership

Thursday 7th August 2008

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Horizon Energy Distribution said it will consider alliances or mergers with other lines businesses to gain scale after approaches to its biggest shareholder.

Eastern Bay Energy Trust, which owns 77% of Horizon, has received "a number of non-binding proposals from interested parties" after reviewing its investment and putting out feelers for opportunities, chairman Robert Tait told shareholders at their annual meeting today.

The electricity distributor in the Eastern Bay of Plenty region today reiterated 2009 profit will be NZ$5.3 million to NZ$5.6 million, little changed from last year's NZ$5.5 million. The forecast is subject to settlement of a NZ$1 million dispute with a supplier, it said.

Shares of Horizon, which in June announced the appointment of Ajay Anand as chief executive starting in September, has dropped 5% this year, lagging behind Contact Energy's 4% gain. Horizon stock was recently unchanged at NZ$3.25, giving the company a market value of NZ$81 million.

By Jonathan Underhill

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