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Bank of New York Mellon has 3.98pc Meridian stake - not 8.1pc

Ministers Tony Ryall, left, and Bill English with Mark Binns, Meridian chief executive, at the sharemarket debut of Meridian earlier this week. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Ministers Tony Ryall, left, and Bill English with Mark Binns, Meridian chief executive, at the sharemarket debut of Meridian earlier this week. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Meridian Energy, which listed on the New Zealand stock exchange on Tuesday, says Bank of New York Mellon Corp. has just 3.98 per cent of the company, after the bank filed a substantial security notice today stating a higher figure.

New York-based BNY Mellon, which has US$1.5 trillion of assets under management, said earlier today it had acquired 102 million of the 1.256 billion common shares on issue, taking its stake to 8.12 per cent, which is over the 5 per cent threshold requiring investors to declare their ownership through a notice to the stock exchange.

However Meridian later clarified that it has a total of 2.563 billion shares on issue, meaning the investor has just a 3.98 per cent stake. The stock exchange, which also uses the 1.256 billion figure, has now added a note to the Meridian description on its website stating that its metrics have been calculated on the basis of the issued instalment receipts, rather than the company's issued ordinary shares.

New Zealand's government sold 49 per cent of Meridian, the nation's largest energy electricity retailer and generator, in an initial public offering this month. Meridian Energy's instalment receipts debuted at $1.08 on Tuesday after tepid demand in the initial public offering saw the stock sold at the bottom of the indicative range of $1.50 to $1.80, with a smaller-than-expected pool of investors. The stock slipped 0.5 per cent to $1.095 today.

Meridian chief executive Mark Binns said he welcomed the news that BNY Mellon subsidiary Newton Investment Management had demonstrated confidence in Meridian through its investment.

The government offered the Meridian shares in instalment receipts to sweeten the offer, with $1 upfront and the promise of full entitlement to dividends, and the remaining 50 cents in May 2015.

- BusinessDesk

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