The Government is pressing with the partial sell-down of
the three state-owned assets, unswayed by a petition recently
presented to Parliament calling for the sales to stop.
Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Assets Minister
Tony Ryall announced yesterday Meridian Energy was likely to
list on October 29. Meridian's offer document would be lodged
The Ministers confirmed they were considering options for
Genesis Energy and Air New Zealand, two of the other
companies in the Government's share offer programme.
Mr Ryall said it was anticipated the Genesis offer would
occur in the first half of 2014, subject to market
The Air NZ share offer would be different from the others, as
it was already a sharemarket-listed company.
''What that means is that New Zealanders can buy shares in
the company now, if they wish.
''We are currently working through the best way the sell-down
can occur and we remain keen to ensure New Zealanders have
the opportunity to participate in it''
At this stage, no final decisions had been made, including on
However, when it occurred, it was expected to be a shorter
process that the one used for Meridian and Mighty River
Power, Mr Ryall said.
Earlier this month, the Keep Our Assets coalition's petition
reached the required numbers to trigger a referendum on asset
sales. The referendum is estimated to cost $9 million to run.
More than 327,000 people signed the petition, which needed to
be resubmitted after an investigation found some had signed
more than once.
Mr English said yesterday the Government was clear about the
opportunity for New Zealanders when it put its share offers
programme to New Zealanders during the 2011 election
''The compelling reasons for proceeding with the share offers
are as valid today.''
The share offer would enable New Zealanders to invest in big
Kiwi companies at a time when they were telling the
Government they wanted to diversify their growing savings
away from property, bank deposits and finance companies.
Forty-nine percent of Meridian would be sold in two
instalments and there would be a price cap, to provide more
certainty for investors about how much the shares would cost,