Government plans sale of 20% Air New Zealand stake
The New Zealand government announced the sale of 20% of its stake in national carrier Air New Zealand. The planned sale will leave the government with a 53% controlling stake. This was according to a report published by BBC News.
Based on the last price before trading was halted on Monday, the 20% stake is worth NZD363 million (USD320 million or GBP187 million), the report said.
The government aims to raise NZD5 billion to cut down the company's public debt. The said amount will also be spent on infrastructure. The strategic move is a part of New Zealand's program of asset sales. The program has raised NZD3.6 billion to date from selling government stakes power firms Mighty River Power and Meridian Energy. The government is planning another stake sale in power company Genesis Energy next year, said the report.
The New Zealand government became a majority stakeholder in the national carrier in 2002. At that time, Air New Zealand was collapsing and the government saved it from its downfall, BBC News reported.