Excerpts from this mornings Stuff article on the proposed deal to partially sell Lyttelton Port Company to a front for the Chinese government.
Port Otago has stunned the Christchurch City Council with a sharemarket raid that enables it to block the city’s takeover of Lyttelton Port of Christchurch.
Dunedin’s port company dropped its bombshell at 12.50pm yesterday when it said it had bought just under 8 per cent of LPC from large investors and was taking a stand in the market for another 2%, giving it a blocking stake to prevent the LPC takeover.
By the end of the day, Lyttelton’s rival was sitting on a 10.1% stake, worth about $24 million, exactly enough to block Christchurch City Holdings Ltd’s (CCHL) takeover offer, which will go to shareholders next week.
CCHL has offered to buy out the 31% of the port it does not own at 210c a share. It then wants to sell a 49% stake to Hong Kong’s Hutchison Port Holdings and set up a new company to operate Lyttelton in a deal aimed at securing the future of the port by bringing in a heavyweight partner.
HPH is owned by Asian tycoon Li Ka-shing and is the world’s biggest container port operator.
But that deal cannot now go ahead without Port Otago’s say-so.