Infratil wants to raise up to $300 million of new equity to help advance the growth plans within its existing portfolio and to allow it to snap up any opportunities that may crop up through the recession.

The infrastructure investment firm will sell $250 million of new shares to institutional investors in a placement and another $50 million to existing investors via a share purchase plan at $4.76 a share. That's an 8 per cent discount to the $5.175 price the stock closed at yesterday. The shares have been halted for the placement.

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The new capital will give Infratil $514 million of funds to draw on as it pays for the rapid expansion of its CDC data centre business, the roll-out of new 5G mobile networks at Vodafone New Zealand, and renewable energy projects through the likes of Tilt Renewables and Longroad Energy.

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It will also give the firm scope to take advantage of opportunities that occur due to the current environment, it said.

"Infratil maintains an attractive pipeline of growth opportunities across its portfolio and is continuing to evaluate additional opportunities in key growth sectors and new geographies," it said in a statement.

Essential infrastructure

The company noted that infrastructure is expected to be "essential to the pace and shape of the global economic recovery" from the covid-19 pandemic. It cited its own track record – total shareholder returns of 16.6 per cent per year since inception in 1994 – in taking a disciplined approach to capital allocation.

New Zealand's government has said new infrastructure will be a core plank in reviving and reshaping the domestic economy. Finance Minister Grant Robertson is sitting on a list of recommendations on which projects can be fast-tracked.

UBS New Zealand is the sole lead manager of the offer and is fully underwriting the placement, but not the share purchase plan.

Infratil said it won't renew an upcoming $53 million bank maturity.

A bookbuild will be held for the placement today, with trading in the shares to resume tomorrow. The share purchase plan will open on June 12 and close on June 25.

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- BusinessDesk