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The shares will be listed on the New Zealand sharemarket shortly before Budget Day on May 16, Key says.
Cabinet met this afternoon to discuss the sale of up to 49 per cent of shares in the Waikato based power company which marks the start of its flagship "mixed ownership model" policy.
Key said Cabinet decided to go ahead with the "Order In Council" which enacts legislation necessary for the sale.
Details of a loyalty bonus scheme would be announced before the offer period starts - which is expected to be in mid April.
Key said his Government expected 85 to 90 per cent of Mighty River shares would remain in New Zealand investors' hands.
"We're confident we can achieve that.''
The sales process will begin tomorrow with the opening of the pre-registration which runs until March 22. See a Government graphic outlining the sales process here.
SOE Minister Tony Ryall confirmed that as part of the offer, Mighty River Power employees would be guranteed a minimum of 5000 shares each in the offer if they wanted them.
The Government has already said the minimum share parcel will be $1000 and parcels of up to $2000 will not be scaled back. It has pledged that between 85 per cent and 90 per cent will be held by New Zealanders, including its own 51 per cent stake.
Reports have resurfaced that Mighty River Power would join other big New Zealand companies with a dual listing on the ASX.
Last July Key said work was being done on that as some Australian fund managers who act on behalf of New Zealand investors could trade shares only if a company is listed on the Australian exchange.
- Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald