Colin Barnett

Colin Barnett


    Last minute rush speaks volumes for privatisation of AlintaGas

    5/10/2000 1:54 PM

    An incredible last-minute rush for securities in AlintaGas has confirmed the very high level of interest in the privatisation of Western Australia’s major gas utility.

    Energy Minister Colin Barnett said today the final details on the number of applications received was yet to be confirmed.

    However, Mr Barnett said a high proportion - nearly 40 per cent of the total number of applications received - poured in last Friday, the day the offer closed.

    “Closing day is often a major event in an IPO but from the advice to hand the proportion of total applications received on the last day of the AlintaGas offer was exceptional,” he said.

    “It augurs well for the future of AlintaGas as a listed public company, especially as demand for securities has come from all corners of the State.

    “When the processing of applications is completed by the weekend we expect there to be more than 100,000 WA shareholders in AlintaGas.

    “Final numbers will be determined after the screening of multiple applications.

    “This will be an excellent result and endorsement of the decision to give priority to WA retail and institutional investors.”

    Mr Barnett said as scheduled, the AlintaGas allocation policy, including the number of securities allocated to priority and general applicants, would be advertised on Monday, October 16 in The West Australian, Financial Review and the Australian.

    The Minister said from that day successful applicants would be able to check their allocations on the AlintaGas website and via the AlintaGas offer information line on 13 15 27.

    Holding statements and refunds due would be despatched by mail no later than Monday, October 23.

    “It is expected that investors will be able to buy and sell AlintaGas securities from Tuesday, October 17, when AlintaGas lists on the Australian Stock Exchange,” Mr Barnett said.

    “From the time the decision was made to privatise AlintaGas through a trade sale/IPO, the process has been well received by financial markets and the community.

    “The sale was timed to take place before the gas market is fully opened to competition under the national guidelines.

    “This gave the State the opportunity to maximise the value of the AlintaGas business to all Western Australians and allow a properly structured and commercially capable AlintaGas to emerge under private ownership.

    “The first stage, the sale of 45 per cent of AlintaGas to the cornerstone investor WA Gas Holdings - a joint venture of Utilicorp of the USA and Australian listed company United Energy - will yield $319.5 million.

    “This represents $4.38 per stapled security, a 95 per cent premium to the $2.25 maximum price per stapled security offered to investors and was obviously part of the attraction of the offer to the public.

    “The listing of AlintaGas on the ASX expected on Tuesday 17 October will realise the Government goals of creating a viable public gas company which will continue to be headquartered in Perth, with a focus on doing business in WA and wide WA ownership.”

    Mr Barnett said the revenue return to WA from the sale of AlintaGas was estimated at $967 million, comprising $198 million for 88 million stapled securities in the public offer, $319.5 million for 72 million stapled securities sold to the cornerstone investor and $450 million repayment of the AlintaGas debt facility.

    He said the financial adviser to the State on the offer is Deutsche Bank AG.

    The joint lead managers to the public offer 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