Port Otago's contentious 15.5% stake in competitor Lyttelton
Port of Christchurch (LPC) may yet pay a dividend.
Otago Regional Council councillors were told yesterday by
Port Otago chairman Dave Faulkner that earth-quake hit LPC
had ''signalled'' it could resume dividend payments next
Port Otago bought the 15.5% stake in LPC in March 2006 for
$37 million, which stymied council-owned LPC from accepting a
takeover bid. But with LPC not paying any dividends to
shareholders, it raised the question of the benefit of
holding the stake.
Mr Faulkner, who has been frustrated by the lack of any
detail on LPC's complex insurance claims, was pleased to tell
councillors' yesterday that during the past year LPC shares
had risen and, at $2.85, had increased the value of Port
Otago's stake by $13.5 million.
LPC shares have come off a year-high in May of $3 a share,
and were yesterday trading at $2.70.
Mr Faulkner reiterated Port Otago's position since taking the
stake, that it would be monitored and reviewed with a
long-term holding in mind.