New Zealand to raise up to $1.8 billion from IPO

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s government has announced details of an IPO of the country’s largest power company.

Documents filed Friday show the government expects to raise between 1.9 and 2.2 billion New Zealand dollars ($1.6 billion and $1.8 billion) by selling 49 percent of the state-owned Meridian Energy.

The share offer is the centerpiece of a government asset-sales program.

The center-right government says the proceeds will help reduce New Zealand’s public debt and pay for hospitals, schools and roads. Opponents have likened the program to selling the family silver.

Under the offer, buyers will need to pay NZ$1 initially for shares and a second installment of between NZ 50 and 80 cents in 18 months’ time.

The company will list on the New Zealand and Australian stock markets on Oct. 29.

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