Market convention suggests the Government will want to register a prospectus for shares in Mighty River Power as soon as possible after the company reports its annual financial result on August 28.
Initial public offers (IPOs) are complex and lengthy processes. Under the Securities Act, a company has nine months after its accounts are presented to launch a prospectus, but standard practice is for offer documents to be launched soon after a company reports its results to ensure that the information in them is as up-to-date as possible.
"The further you get away from your year-end, the more likely it is that you will need to disclose some [additional] financial information to ensure that your offer documents are accurate, because the performance of your business will have moved on," said Michael Pollard, a specialist corporate partner at Simpson Grierson.
"Typically you try and go quite close to a set of year-end numbers, or a set of half-year numbers, because you want to make sure that the information you put in the offer documents are a good representation of the financial performance of the position of the business."
Promoters of new share issues are keen to avoid the "silly season" for financial markets over the late December and January periods, when markets shut down for the Christmas break, although last year's December 13 float of Trade Me was well supported.
The Government said last week it was giving the Waitangi Tribunal three weeks to produce its views on Maori claims to water rights so that the partial privatisation of Mighty River Power could proceed.
Finance and State Owned Enterprise Ministers Bill English and Tony Ryall have asked the tribunal to report on the issues by August 24, four days ahead of Mighty River Power's 2011-12 profit announcement.
That would allow ministers to make decisions by the first week of September on the tribunal's recommendation.
"However, there are a limited number of windows each year in which a share offer can take place," English and Ryall said last week.
"Delaying a decision beyond the first week of September and losing the 2012 window for the offer would have significant consequences, not only for the MRP offer, but also in delaying the rest of the share offer programme over the next two years."
- APNZBy Jamie Gray Email Jamie