AMP Capital-led group agrees to buy Powerco stake for $525m

Canada's Brookfield Infrastructure Partners sells its 42% holding.

A group led by AMP Capital agreed to buy 42 percent of Powerco, New Zealand's second-biggest gas and electricity network company, from Canada's Brookfield Infrastructure Partners for $525 million.

The sale, conditional on Overseas Investment Office approval, is expected to be completed before the end of the year, New Plymouth-based Powerco says in a statement to the NZX.

The balance of the company is owned by Queensland wealth manager QIC, which in 2010 tried to block its former co-owner Prime Infrastructure from selling to Brookfield, which held 40 percent of Powerco, using pre-emptive rights.

Last month, Powerco chairman Rick Bettle stepped down ahead of pleading guilty to charges related to the failed Dominion Finance.

Powerco has two bonds totalling $100 million listed on the stock exchange's debt market which both trade at a premium to their face value.