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Update on potential minority Napier Port IPO

Port of Napier

Appointments of advisors have been made as part of the preparation for a potential initial public offering (IPO) of a minority interest in Napier Port.

In December 2018, following two years of work and intensive community consultation, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council voted to proceed with work on a potential IPO of an up to 49 per cent stake in Napier Port.

The proceeds from a minority IPO are expected to be used to fund required development at the Port, including providing capacity to fund the construction of a new $142 million wharf, while diversifying Regional Council income streams and protecting ratepayers from Port development costs, while still retaining majority community ownership of the Port.

Regional Council Chair Rex Graham says final decisions on whether to proceed with an IPO will be taken by councillors over the coming months, but it was vital that the process received robust and independent commercial advice of the highest quality before making final decisions.

“Following a comprehensive tender process, independent corporate finance advisory firm, Flagstaff Partners has been appointed as the independent commercial advisor to the process. They have been appointed given their extensive understanding of the port sector - including Napier Port - and IPO transactions in New Zealand and Australia, including having advised regional governments on the two most recent port capital structure transactions.

“Additionally, Deutsche Craigs and Goldman Sachs have been appointed as the Joint Lead Managers. They will support the detailed design and preparation for a potential IPO. Both organisations have a proven track record in advising and managing successful IPOs and bring a depth of skill and experience to the preparatory process.

“We are looking forward to working with these advisors with a view to maximising priority allocation of shares to locals while protecting the short and long-term success of any IPO and the Port.”

Mr Graham reiterated that no shares were currently being offered and the decision to proceed with an IPO has not yet been made but, if and when such a decision is made, it would be clearly communicated and extensive information published and available well ahead of any share sale.

5 February 2019

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