Infratil makes $392m from sale of Z

  • 01/10/2015
Infratil makes $392m from sale of Z

By Jonathan Underhill

Infratil will book a profit of $392 million on the sale of its remaining 20 percent stake in Z Energy and says it will use the funds to pursue growth opportunities.

Infratil sold the 80 million shares at $6 apiece following a bookbuild in which the New Zealand Superannuation Fund sold 9.7 percent, or 38.9 million shares at the same price, leaving the fund with about 10 percent of Z.

Infratil's profit, which is subject to finalisation of its share of Z's earnings for the six months ended September 30 and sale costs, came from total sale proceeds of $479.2m after costs and doesn't take into account dividends collected along the way.

The sale price was at the bottom of the $6 to $6.20 range in which the shares were offered and compared to Z's record-high close of $6.63 on Tuesday, when the sale was announced. Z shares have gained 51 percent in the past 12 months

Chief executive Marko Bogoievski says while Infratil is a supporter of the Z Energy business and its proposed acquisition of Chevron New Zealand, "the current market provided an opportunity for a clean exit and the flexibility to recycle capital into new growth opportunities".

Infratil and NZ Super Fund paid about $696m for Shell New Zealand in 2010 and transformed the former Shell downstream and retail business into Z Energy.

With the sale of Z, Infratil now says forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and fair value changes have been cut to a range of $500-$530m from a previous range of $520-$550m. Operating cash flow is now expected to be $250-$280m from $270-$300m.

Following the sale of its Z stake, Infratil's net debt is about $310m, made up of $989m of infrastructure bonds, other drawn debt of $74m and cash of $753m.

Infratil shares last traded at $3.06 before being halted for the transaction and have gained about 17 percent in the past year.