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Quake puts halt on port merger talks

The recent Canterbury earthquake has prompted the Lyttelton Port Company (NZX:LPC) to put its merger negotiations with Port Otago Ltd (POL) on hold.LPC suffered significant damage to port infrastructure and facilities, which are fully insured.According to

NBR staff
Fri, 01 Oct 2010

The recent Canterbury earthquake has prompted the Lyttelton Port Company (NZX:LPC) to put its merger negotiations with Port Otago Ltd (POL) on hold.

LPC suffered significant damage to port infrastructure and facilities, which are fully insured.

According to the company it is a “huge credit” to all staff that core services were resumed within a few hours of the earthquake following an evaluation by engineering and maintenance staff.

However, it said that given the magnitude and priority of the repair job, it is not possible to continue merger negotiations.

LPC chairman Bill Luff said the earthquake had forced the company to review its short and long term asset management and development plans.

That review process, which will take some time, is now only just beginning, as the focus has been on returning to business as usual and ensuring customer requirements are fulfilled in the first instance. 



“The landscape has changed significantly,” he said.

“Given this situation, it is only fair and prudent to cease the merger negotiations in order to allow the full resources of LPC to focus on both running the port and undertaking the recovery and rebuild project.”

He said the board and management of LPC want to assure customers that the port will continue to maintain its service levels and to assure the community that it understands the absolute importance of a fully operational port as the economy recovers from the earthquake.

A merger between these two South Island ports has been on the cards for a long time but the talks have been painfully slow.

LPC's major shareholder, the Christchurch City Council, has already given the thumbs-up to a merger.

NBR staff
Fri, 01 Oct 2010
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Quake puts halt on port merger talks
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