9 May 2013

Mighty River will have NZ's biggest shareholder base

5:28 pm on 9 May 2013

Mighty River Power will have the biggest shareholder base in New Zealand when it lists on Friday, after 113,857 buyers purchased stock in the company.

They will pay $2.50 per share, just below the middle of the $2.35 to $2.50 indicative share range, reaping the Government $1.7 billion.

Finance Minister Bill English said it would have been more, but the Labour-Greens planned overhaul of the energy sector frightened them.

But Mr English said he expects that fear to ease due to scepticism that the opposition parties' proposals are doable.

He said there were market estimates early on in the process that the share might be priced at $2.70 or $2.80, and it ended priced at $2.50.

Mr English said the most disappointing aspect was that it prevented many New Zealanders from taking up their first share investment because they were worried.

He said as time went on, retail and institutional investors became increasingly sceptical that Labour and the Greens would be able to implement that policy, even if they got elected.

Buyer details

Mr English said New Zealanders will own 86.5% of Mighty River, in line with one of its measures for success of the partial float, and it appears 68% are investing for the first time.

Retail investors will get an average shareholding of $8220 and control 27% of the shares, with New Zealand institutions getting $300 million worth (8.6%) and foreign investors, $472 million (13.5%).

While it has 114,000 investors, that's only half that achieved by the float of Contact Energy in the late 90s.

Some scaling applies, but only for those wanting large parcels of shares.

There's no scaling for those seeking up to 15,000, and progressive scaling as the applications rose.

Mighty River's market capitalization stands at $3.5 billion.

The shares list on the stock market at 12.30pm on Friday.