H.R.L. Morrison & Co, the Wellington-based investment bank that manages Infratil, has increased its stake in the diversified utility group to 12 per cent as the largest shareholder sells down its holding.
Utilico Investments Ltd., a U.K investor that had counted Infratil as its biggest holding, has sold 15 million shares at $1.85 apiece, or a total $27.8 million, to Morrison, the firm created by businessman Lloyd
Morrison. The transaction requires shareholder approval at their annual meeting on August 15.
"This is a great opportunity for Morrison & Co to increase its shareholding in Infratil based on our belief in Infratil's positive outlook," Lloyd Morrison said in a statement.
Utilico also sold 15 million shares to a U.S. institutional investor at $1.80 apiece. Shares of Infratil rose 0.6 per cent to $1.81 today. They have fallen about 8 per cent this year while the NZX 50 Index gained 3 per cent.
Once the transactions are completed, 77 per cent of Infratil's stock will be New Zealand-owned, it said. Utilico's holding falls to 13.7 per cent from 18.6 per cent.
Morrison & Co spokesman Mark Flesher declined to identify the US institution. The investor was found with the help of Morrison & Co and Goldman Sachs.
Utilico used to be known as Infratil International, whose directors included Duncan Saville, one of the original directors of Infratil and still on its board.