22 Dec 2017

Meridian buys three Australian hydro stations

8:38 pm on 22 December 2017

Trustpower has sold its Australian hydro stations to Meridian Energy.

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Photo: 123RF

The future of the three stations, which the Tauranga-based company inherited when it split from Tilt Renewables, had been under review since August to see if they still fit with its strategic plans.

Trustpower, which is majority owned by utilities investor Infratil, will sell the stations to the Australian arm of Meridian for $A168 million ($NZ185m), more than double the price it paid for the stations three years ago.

Trustpower chief executive Vince Hawksworth said the company did not have enough mass in Australia, especially in the retail sector, to make it worth keeping the stations.

"We came to the view that while the assets ... were generating solid cash flows, they were no longer a strategic fit for Trustpower without a broader Australian platform."

He said the company was now totally New Zealand based and focused, and it would push on to offer broadband, gas and electricity to consumers.

Mr Hawkesworth said the board had yet to decide what to do with the proceeds, which could include a cash return to shareholders.

The three stations are in New South Wales and generate just over 92 megawatts. Meridian said the generation would support its growing business in Australia.

"We have a retail offering that is disrupting the Australian market ... and we're finding there is a strong and growing desire from Australian electricity consumers to support a 'green' energy retailer," said chief executive Neal Barclay.

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