Trustpower moves on ownership of King Country Energy

Trustpower plans to resolve its majority ownership of King Country Energy, signing a joint venture deal with 20% owner King Country Electric Power Trust.

The unincorporated joint venture will then make a takeover offer for the central North Island electricity generator and retailer at $5 a share, it said in a statement.

The remaining shares are owned by a small number of mainly local shareholders.

Trustpower had a two-tier pricing scheme when it launched its original takeover in 2015, offering $5 per share if it reached at least 70.2%, or $4.78 if it fell short of that mark. It ultimately attracted a 65% stake, including Todd Corp's Nova Energy holding.

King Country Energy shares trade on the Unlisted platform, and were last at $4.50 before entering a trading halt on December 3.

King Country Electric Power Trust rejected Trustpower's offer in 2015, saying at the time it saw the holding as a cornerstone investment and regarded Trustpower as an "excellent partner" for the power company. Earlier this year the trust reviewed its interest and decided to keep it.

Turstpower shares last traded at $5.98 and have jumped 26% this year, outperforming other electricity generator and retailers on the S&P/NZX 50 index which have gained between 14% 17%.

(additional reporting BusinessDesk)

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