Jamie Gray

Jamie Gray is a business reporter for the New Zealand Herald and APNZ wire agency

Standard structure expected for Genesis sharemarket float

Genesis owns the Huntly power station and has a 31 per cent stake in the Kupe oil and gas field. Photo / Christine Cornege
Genesis owns the Huntly power station and has a 31 per cent stake in the Kupe oil and gas field. Photo / Christine Cornege

The sharemarket float of Genesis Energy - the details of which are due out today - is likely to proceed along standard lines, unlike the instalment receipt structure the Government used to sell a half-share in Meridian Energy last year, say market sources.

Finance Minister Bill English is expected to release details of the partial privatisation of the third and final state-owned power generator and retailer on the Government's list in Auckland today.

Sources expect the process to be similar to that used for Mighty River Power - a standard, fully paid share - which will take into account the smaller size of the asset.

The Meridian sale - by far the biggest asset on the Government's programme - was split into two parts to allow the offer to be successfully absorbed. The second and final instalment of 50c a share is due in 2015.

One source said the initial public offer process for Genesis would start in March, with an NZX listing the following month.

The asset sales programme in total is expected to raise between $4 billion and $5 billion for the Government - below the bottom end of the $5 billion to $7 billion range set out at the start.

Genesis, which owns the Huntly gas and coal power station, is regarded as being a less attractive asset compared with Mighty River, which has extensive geothermal and hydro assets, and Meridian, which generates its power from hydro dams and wind.

However, Genesis does have a 31 per cent stake in the lucrative Kupe oil and gas field, and is the country's biggest electricity and gas retailer. Since 2011 Genesis has owned the Tekapo A and B hydro stations.

New Zealand electricity consumption over the past few years has been declining because of a number of factors, one of them being a flat economy.

Other influences have come into play, among them reduced demand from heavy users such as paper mill company Norske Skog and the Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter.

However, economists expect the economy to put on a big growth spurt this year, so the power supply and demand dynamic could change.

Genesis last month posted a 72 per cent slump in its first-half net profit to $19.7 million, driven mostly by low wholesale electricity prices resulting from last year's above-average lake storage levels.

Meridian's instalment receipts, which were issued at $1, closed yesterday at $1.055, having dipped last year to a low of 89.5c. Mighty River's share price closed at $2.04, compared with the $2.50 a share issue price.

- APNZ

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