Colin Barnett

Colin Barnett


    Alintagas moves into initial offer to public phase

    21/08/2000 12:40 PM

    Western Australians will be able to apply for shares in AlintaGas at $2.25 a share from September 11.

    Confirming the timetable and pricing of 88 million securities in AlintaGas, Energy Minister Colin Barnett said today the initial public offering (IPO) represented 55 per cent of the company’s issued capital.

    Mr Barnett said this would raise $198 million taking the total proceeds to be received by the State Government from the sale to about $967 million.

    “The details of the initial public offering comprises a retail offer of 66 million shares to the public at an application price of $2.25 a share and an institutional offer of 22 million shares with an indicative price range of $2.10 to $2.40 to institutional investors,” he said.

    “I expect 75 per cent of the shares will be owned by Western Australians.

    “The 190,000 Western Australians, who in the past three weeks have pre-registered their interest in buying shares in AlintaGas either directly or via their brokers, have a priority position in the IPO.

    “Starting on September 11, they will receive - by mail - a public offer document with a personalised priority application form entitling them to more than 25 per cent more than the minimum allocation.

    “People who have not pre-registered and want to buy shares can go into the general pool where there are no guarantees of any minimum share allocation.

    “In the institutional offer, the final price will be set after book-build on October 12 and 13.

    “Retail investors will pay the lower of the retail application price and the final institutional price.

    “The final institutional price will be announced shortly before AlintaGas securities are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in October.”

    Mr Barnett said when the IPO was finalised, AlintaGas would have 160 million shares on issue with a market capitalisation of about $360 based on the retail offer.

    He said that in their acquisition of 45 per cent of AlintaGas - 72 million shares for $319.5 million - Utilicorp/United Energy had paid a premium in return for securing the strategic cornerstone shareholding in AlintaGas.

    Utilicorp/United Energy must maintain the cornerstone shareholding for the next two years.

    The IPO process would move forward today with the public offer document being uploaded onto the AlintaGas website for its exposure period.

    This would be followed by the printing of the public offer document to reach investors from September 11.

    The public offer would close on Friday, October 6 and it was expected AlintaGas Limited would start trading on the Australian Stock Exchange on Tuesday, October 17.

    Mr Barnett said the State reserved the right to change any of the estimated dates including extending the offer or closing the offer early.

    He said based on figures in the public offer document the return to the State should be about $967 million which comprised:
    • about $450 million repayment of State debt by AlintaGas;
    • $319.5 million for 72 million shares sold to the cornerstone investor; and -
    • about $198 million for 88 million shares being sold in the public offer.

    AlintaGas chairman Tony Howarth said the public offer was the final phase of a privatisation process which had been very well received by the financial sector.

    “AlintaGas looks forward to completing the move from Government ownership to a public listed company,” Mr Howarth said.

    The joint lead managers to the AlintaGas IPO are Hartley Poynton, Macquarie Equity Capital Markets and Paterson Ord Minnett with co-managers D J Carmichael, J B Were and CIBC World Markets.

    Media contact: Diana Callander 9222 9699