6 Dec 2013

Infratil shares fall after buyback

7:29 am on 6 December 2013

Infratil shares fell nearly 5% after the company completed a $59 million share buyback.

Infratil paid $2.38 per share for the 24.8 million shares it bought, well below its $2.60 maximum price.

The shares fell as low as $2.20 on Thursday before closing at just over $2.24.

Tyndall Investment Management head of equities Rickey Ward says the investment climate has changed considerably since Infratil first proposed the buyback in late September.

He says the market is some 5% lower now than when Infratil indicated it would look to do a buyback, so people are looking to transact to get cash to allow them to buy other investments which have been sold off quite aggressively.

Mr Ward says the share price is not too significant at this point because the change is a result of people exiting to try and get access to cash.

Infratil shares were trading at $2.60 on 25 October, the day the company announced it was buying nearly 20% of the retirement village operator, Metlifecare, for $147.9 million.

Rickey Ward says the shares have fallen since then because the market doesn't believe the Metlifecare stake was a suitable investment for the infrastructure investor.

"They expect them (Infratil) to be a private equity investment entity that's investing in utility operated or orientated types of investments - this was neither of those."

Infratil paid $3.53 per share for its Metlifecare stake and the shares closed on Thursday at $4.07.