22 Nov 2021

Meridian Energy to sell its Australian business to Shell and ICG consortium

10:00 am on 22 November 2021

Meridian Energy has agreed to a $A729 million ($NZ753m) deal to sell its Australian business to a consortium of the oil and gas giant Shell and investment manager Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG).

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Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

When the deal is completed, Shell will become the owner of the retail business, Powershop Australia.

Meanwhile ICG will become the owner of the infrastructure assets, the Mount Mercer and Mount Millar wind farms, the Hume, Burrinjuck and Keepit hydro power stations and development assets.

The sale is subject to conditions, including Shell receiving foreign investment approval from the Australian government, Meridian said.

The deal is expected to be wrapped up in the first quarter of 2022.

Meridian chief executive Neal Barclay said it was an "outstanding result" for the company's shareholders.

"With emissions the problem, and renewable energy the solution, the buyers are readying to invest heavily in a cleaner future. The Meridian Australia team will be at the heart of a transformation that is not only good for Australia, but also the planet," he said.

Meridian said three-year agreements have been put in place with Flux Federation, a Meridian subsidiary, for Powershop Australia's retail software services and Meridian Energy Australia's call centre based in Masterton.

Meridian Australia and Powershop Australia's chief executive Jason Stein, will remain in his role until the end of March next year or the completion of the sale.

Meridian said it will continue to consider its capital structure, dividend policy and future opportunities for reinvestment of the sale proceeds as the settlement of the deal approached.

A further update is expected at the company's interim results in February.