17 May 2019

Infratil posts loss following Vodafone acquisition announcement

10:02 am on 17 May 2019

Utilities investor Infratil has posted a bottom line loss of $19.5 million as it looks to sell another asset and raise money to finance its planned acquisition of Vodafone.

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Infratil has posted a loss of $19.5 million as it looks to fund finance its planned acquisition of Vodafone. Photo: 123RF

The loss for the year ended March compared with a profit of $71.4m the year before, but was largely because of a $102.6m incentive payment which was tied to the performance of certain overseas assets.

The group's underlying operating earnings, which it regards as better measure of its performance, was up 20 percent to $580.1m, leaving aside the incentive payment.

"Strong underlying performance (has) enabled significant capital to be invested in high performing renewable energy and data platforms," the company said in a presentation.

Infratil's investments include stakes in power companies in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, Wellington Airport, a data centre and retirement village in Australia.

It said it was in talks with potential buyers for its underperforming Perth power company. It has a conditional deal to sell NZ Bus and recently sold its student accommodation assets in Australia.

The company said the strategic review of its assets and repositioning of the company was largely completed.

Earlier this week, Infratil said it was joining Canadian investment company Brookfield Asset Management to buy the New Zealand operations of telecommunications company Vodafone for $3.4 billion.

"The acquisition of New Zealand's leading mobile telecommunications company is transformational for Infratil and significantly strengthens the cash generative core of the portfolio," the company said.

Infratil also detailed the $400m share issue which will partly fund the Vodafone acquisition.

Investment funds will be offered 25 million shares at $4 dollars each, to raise a quarter of the money, while existing shareholders will be offered one new share for every 7.46 shares they currently own at the same price.

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