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The Treasury has appointed an Australian branch of Lazard to advise the Crown on the government’s planned state asset selldown.
Announcing the contract, Treasury said Melbourne-based investment bankers from Lazard would (if the government wins the November 26 election),
• Design of and participation in the pre-qualification process for sales advisors (joint lead managers and other parties) and subsequent appointment of sales syndicates;
• Independent quality assurance of the sales programme advice prepared by the Crown Advisor; and
• Independent advisory services during the consultation and execution phase for each transaction should the government proceed with extending the mixed ownership model.
Lazard is conditionally appointed through to 31 December 2012 although Treasury may extend the contract for another year. No value for the contract was given.
National is campaigning for the November 26 election on a promise to sell stakes in government owned energy companies Genesis, Meridian, Mighty River Power and Solid Energy and to reduce the Crown holding in Air New Zealand. It says the sales will raise $5-7 billion and that it will retain state ownership of at least 51% stake in each company.