Mighty River ceo in pre-IPO talks

Mighty River Power's ceo Doug Heffernan has met with Australian fund managers in the lead-up to the state-owned company's expected $1.5 billion partial float.

The joint-lead managers of the float – First New Zealand Capital/Credit Suisse Australia, Macquarie Capital NZ and Goldman Sachs NZ – organised meetings in Sydney and Melbourne last week, attended by Mr Heffernan and cfo William Meek.

MRP will be the first partially privatised state-owned company under the government's mixed ownership model – as long as it's not blocked by a Maori Council challenge to be heard by the Supreme Court later this week.

The equity raising is expected to list on both sides of the Tasman.

MRP spin doctor Katherine Litten told NBR ONLINE the meetings were an update on the company's operational performance and the electricity generator and retailer provided no business forecasts or a float timetable at last week's meetings.

"The meetings weren't about targeted roadshows because there's no offer in the market at the moment.

"It wasn't about providing any sort of forecast information or offer information because it's not there."

She says the company is still working to the government's timetable for the partial float of between March and June.

A report in the Australian Financial Review says fund managers there are hoping for more success with MRP than Fonterra, with some reporting no allocation in the dairy giant's investment fund despite placing what they thought were aggressive bids.

MRP had a 12% growth in sales and a jump in customer numbers in the three months to December 31, the company announced today.

dwilliams@nbr.co.nz

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