New Zealand's government on Thursday announced that Genesis Energy, the last company to go on the market in its controversial asset sales program, would be listed on the New Zealand stock exchange on April 17.
The share offer would open on March 29 and include a bonus share for every 15 held by New Zealand investors for 12 months after the allotment date, Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said in a statement.
"The government has said it will sell between 30 and 49 percent of Genesis Energy and the exact amount to be sold via the bookbuild will be announced on March 26, before the bookbuild opens," English said.
"Proceeds from the sale will go in to the Future Investment Fund, which has so far raised about 4 billion NZ dollars (3.42 billion U.S. dollars) for investment in assets like schools and hospitals, without the need for borrowing from overseas lenders," said English, who claimed in 2011 that the sales would net 5 billion to 7 billion NZ dollars (4.28 billion to 5.99 billion U.S. dollars).
The indicative share offer price range had been set at 1.35 to 1.65 NZ dollars (1.16 to 1.41 U.S. dollars) per share with the final price to be announced on March 28.
The government was committed to at least 85 percent New Zealand ownership including the government's own majority shareholding at the time of the float, the ministers said.
The partial sell-down of Genesis follows the float of 49 percent of Mighty River Power and Meridian Energy and the sell down of 20 percent of the government's holding in Air New Zealand to 53 percent last year.
The main opposition Labor Party described the sale details as " a politically expedient last ditch effort to flog off New Zealand' s silver before the election" on Sept. 20 and called on the government to abandon the sale.
"The government said it would get widespread New Zealand ownership from its asset sales. Mighty River Power got 112,000 investors, Meridian got 63,000 and Air New Zealand just 6,500," Labor state-owned enterprises spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove said in a statement.
"Yet again, taxpayers will be picking up the tab for this bonus scheme, on top of the hundreds of millions they have already paid in brokers fees, sales gimmicks and marketing."
The government said last month it would not be selling any more shares in state-owned enterprises or mixed-ownership companies either this term or after the general election.
A nationwide referendum in December last year resulted in 67.2 percent of voters opposing the sales of up to 49 percent of the energy companies and Air New Zealand and 32.5 percent supporting them.