The Christchurch City Council is attempting to take over the Lyttelton Port Company so that it can then enter into a joint venture with Hong Kong based, Hutchison Port Holdings.
According to the Christchurch Press 13.2.06 “the Christchurch City Council has launched a takeover bid for Lyttelton Port as the first step in a complex arrangement that would see the city partner with a Hong Kong giant to run the operation.
The council’s investment arm, Christchurch City Holdings Ltd (CCHL), already holds a 69 per cent shareholding in LPC, and if the takeover bid is successful, intends to delist the company from the New Zealand Stock Exchange…
CCHL has also announced a proposed operational joint venture for the Port, involving the international port managers, Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd (HPH).
The formation of the joint venture depends on the success of the takeover bid, and would be subject to regulatory consents.
The proposal would see CCHL retaining control of the Port of Lyttelton, and all employment agreements at the Port would be unaffected by the joint venture.
HPH is the world’s leading port manager, developer and investor, with involvement in 242 berths in 41 ports and 20 countries, with a 2004 turnover of $US3.5 billion.
The Hong Hong-based company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa Limited, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
With the takeover completed and the joint venture in place, CCHL would receive net proceeds of about $41 million, it said.
CCHL would continue to control Lyttelton Port Company and its assets by holding the majority of the shares (50.1 per cent), and by appointing four of the seven directors.
But for what it says are “operational and governance reasons,” CCHL would hold 49.9 per cent of a newly formed operating company – Lyttelton Port of Christchurch – with HPH holding the other 50.1 per cent and appointing a majority of the directors.
Both companies would effectively be run as a combined joint venture with existing management overseeing both entities.
The new port company’s dividends would be shared equally between the two partners.”
This sounds great until you find out a bit more about Hutchison Whampoa