Fund unfazed by IPO pricing

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is not concerned US fuel cell maker Bloom Energy is trading below what the Kiwi pension fund paid for its 2.4% stake, saying it is a long-term investor.

California-based Bloom went public this week, selling shares in an initial public offering at $US15 ($NZ22) apiece which closed at $US25, valuing the company at US$2.65billion.

The NZ Super Fund first invested in Bloom in 2013 with a $US50million stake and followed that up the following year with a further $US50million, and yesterday said it had almost 2.6million unlisted class B shares, which had enhanced voting rights for up to five years, amounting to 2.4% of the company.

The stake is subject to a lock-up agreement, meaning the NZ Super Fund cannot sell for 180 days, and can be converted into listed stock at any time.

"As a long-term investor the NZ Super Fund's primary focus is on what we buy an asset for and the value we ultimately realise," acting chief investment officer Mark Fennell said in a statement.

"Our investment returns will only crystallise when we sell our stake. What our investment is worth at various interim time periods is not as important to the NZ Super Fund as it is to investors with a shorter investment horizon."

Since its 2001 founding, Bloom has reportedly raised about $US2billion in debt and equity, and this week's IPO injected about $US270million. The alternative energy company had planned to go public two years ago, but shelved those plans when a federal government subsidy for alternative energy systems was allowed to expire. That tax credit was restored when US President Donald Trump signed off on the federal budget in February, reopening the door for an IPO.

Bloom's offer document shows the power cell maker reported a net loss to equity holders of $US262.6million in calendar 2017, including $US108.6million of interest costs and a $US15million unrealised loss on derivatives.

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