Napier Port shares will be offered in a $2.27 to $2.60 range.

The float, which will see the holding of its current owner – Hawke's Bay Regional Council – drop to 55 per cent, will raise between $204.3 million and $234.0m.

The company expects to list on August 20 and will offer 90 million shares, part of which will be used to pay off debt.

Most of the proceeds will be used to build a new wharf - Wharf 6 – which the port said will alleviate congestion, particularly during the busy cruise ship season.


The new wharf, which is estimated to cost between $170m-$190m, is expected to be completed by 2022.

The final price will be set by a book build expected to take place from August 6 to August 7.

Napier Port chief executive Todd Dawson said the port represented a long-term infrastructure asset.

'"Napier Port is embarking on the next phase of its history and we welcome new investors in the port that share our aspirations."

He said at a news conference that log prices had fallen "after an extremely strong run" and he expected revenue from the log trade to level out this year before picking up again.

Residents and non-resident ratepayers can buy at least $2000 worth of shares.

Port employees will be offered an interest-free loan of $5000 to buy a larger stake in the port.

The company's dividend policy is to pay out 70 to 90 per cent of free cash flow – being net profit after adjusting for non-cash items and allowing for average replacement capex.


It plans to pay a 2.5 cent, or $5m, dividend, in December and a 7 cent a share dividend for the 2020 financial year – about $14.9m - with a gross dividend yield of 4 to 4.6 per cent.

Napier is the country's fourth biggest container port and about two-thirds of its revenue comes from container-related services.

The firm's forecasts assume only modest increases in volumes. Container revenues are assumed to rise to $59.5m this year and $63.1m in 2020, from $58m last year.

About 79 per cent of its container traffic last year was for export.

Most exports through the port are logs and in horticulture. Main imports are fertiliser, oil and cement.

Bulk cargo revenue is expected to rise to $31.6m this year and $32.1m next year, from $29m last year.

The port is also an increasingly popular destination for cruise ships.

Cruise revenue is projected to increase to $3.6m this year and $4.8m in the 2020 financial year, from $2.6m last year.

The port handled 70 cruise ships last year and is expecting 83 in the coming season and 87 the following year as the sector booms in New Zealand waters.

Most of the port's cargo travels less than 100km by land and Dawson said the company was strategically placed to benefit from the ongoing growth of the region's $8.1 billion economy.

- Additional reporting BusinessDesk

- Jamie Gray travelled to Napier courtesy of Napier Port.