NZX to publish Meridian research reports

Meridian Energy Te Apiti Wind Farm on the Ruahine Ranges between Woodville and Ashurst.
Meridian Energy Te Apiti Wind Farm on the Ruahine Ranges between Woodville and Ashurst.

Stock-exchange operator NZX will publish reports by research houses Edison and Woodward Partners on the upcoming Meridian Energy float as part of a plan to keep retail investors informed of the government's planned partial privatisation programme.

The independent reports are for public consumption and will be available once the government releases the Meridian offer documents on Friday, NZX said in a statement.

First NZ Capital and Morningstar Research are also making their reports on the offer public.

"This will ensure independent research is widely available to the public," NZX said. "It follows feedback during the Mighty River Power offer regarding the need for independent research to be available to all potential investors."

The government's first partial privatisation was panned for the lack of independent research available to retail investors, creating a perceived disadvantage to institutions that had access to greater information.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday announced plans to list Meridian on Oct. 29 in a two-stage payment, where investors will only have to pay 60 percent upfront, with the balance due over the following 18 months, during which time several dividend payments would be made.

The government will also put a cap on how much retail investors will have to pay, which may end up being a discount to what institutions end up paying after the bookbuild process.

Plans to privatise half the government's stake in Genesis Energy are expected to take place in the first half of next year, while a sell down of its holding in national carrier Air New Zealand could be completed before Christmas.

- BusinessDesk

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