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Babcock & Brown Infrastructure may sell 50% of Powerco

Monday 4th August 2008

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Babcock & Brown Infrastructure (BBI), the fund managed by Australian investment bank Babcock & Brown, may sell 50% of Powerco, New Zealand's second-largest electricity and gas distributor.

Sydney-based BBI is seeking partners to invest in two core assets, Powerco and WestNet Rail, which operates a 5,100km rail network in the southern half of Western Australia, it said in a statement. The decision follows a review started in June to strengthen BBI's balance sheet and free up cash for investments.

The sale comes four years after a unit of BBI, then Prime Infrastructure Networks, acquired Powerco from interests including local government organisations for NZ$680 million. The stock rose 2.2% to 90 cents today. It tumbled as much as 27% on June 13, after its parent's shares slid on concern it may have to make early repayment of loans.


By Jonathan Underhill



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