4 Mar 1999
The Manager of Infrastructure & Utilities NZ Limited ("Infratil"), Morrison & Co announced today that it had reached an agreement with Lend Lease to acquire 25% of Morrison & Co with rights to acquire 100% over a five year period.
The Chairman of Infratil, Mr Kevin O'Connor, advised that the Board of Infratil had approved the transaction under the terms of the management contract.
Following is a joint Lend Lease - Morrison & Co press announcement
Lend Lease - Morrison & Co Partnership Announcement
The Directors of Lend Lease Corporation ("Lend Lease") and H.R.L. Morrison & Co ("Morrison & Co") today announced that the Lend Lease Group has agreed to purchase a 25% shareholding in Morrison & Co for an undisclosed sum. As a result of the purchase, Morrison & Co and the Infratil companies will become the focus of Lend Lease's Australasian infrastructure activities. The Infratil companies will have preferred investment rights to any infrastructure development to be undertaken by Lend Lease in Australasia.
Morrison & Co is the Manager of the Infratil group of companies: Infratil Australia, which operates in Australia and is listed on the Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchanges; Infrastructure & Utilities NZ, which invests in New Zealand utilities and is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, and Infratil International which invests in international utilities and is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.
Each of the Infratil Boards has approved the transaction under the terms of the respective management contracts. Under the terms of the sale and purchase agreement, Lend Lease has a right to increase its shareholding to 100% of Morrison & Co over a 5-year period. David Clarke, an Executive Director of Lend Lease, and Philip Garling, CEO of Lend Lease Capital Services, will join the Board of Morrison & Co.
Philip Garling, of Lend Lease said "Over recent years Lend Lease has viewed the infrastructure sector as having considerable potential. During that time, we have developed substantial expertise in the sector, particularly in greenfield developments. Following a strategic review last year, we decided to use our infrastructure skills to develop a role as an investment manager in the sector."
"The Company identified Morrison & Co as a group possessing a core of world class industry skills in the key infrastructure sectors of electricity, airports and ports. It is also a group to which Lend Lease can add complementary skills and resources."
"We believe that the purchase of Morrison & Co will enable Lend Lease to become the leading player in the infrastructure sector in Australasia, with considerable scope for international development of the operations."
"Lend Lease was very familiar with a number of the investments arranged by Morrison & Co, in particular Perth International Airport and Southern Hydro. This gave us valuable background to Morrison & Co's investment and management skills in airports and electricity."
Lloyd Morrison, Executive Chairman of Morrison & Co, said "This initiative is very positive for both Morrison & Co and the Infratil companies. With Lend Lease's support, we can take our skills and operations to another level. We were seeking a partner who could enhance and build on our existing base of operations and expand the opportunities available to the Infratil companies. Lend Lease is a world class group. While pre-eminent in Australia, it is also developing very successfully internationally. The Group not only brings financial strength and depth of knowledge of the financial services sector, it also adds relevant skills in other sectors of infrastructure."
"Lend Lease will enable Morrison & Co and the Infratil companies to become involved in the water and waste water sector, in rail and in greenfield infrastructure developments. Lend Lease was a successful co-developer of the Ord River Hydro scheme and the Tower & Appin coal seam methane power project. It is currently co-developing the BP co-generation project in Brisbane and is the preferred co-developer of the extension of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs rail link to Bondi beach."
"Lend Lease also has several joint ventures with Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux in the water and waste water sectors. These include the development, ownership and operation of the Prospect Water Filtration Plant - one of the largest plants in the world - which supplies 80% of Sydney's drinking water. Lend Lease is also co-constructor and will be co-operator of the Manukau waste water plant in Auckland."
"Because of the very specialist nature of much of our work and the importance of our existing investment relationships, we were very focused on choosing a partner who would enable us to retain our existing team and goals. It was also critical that the partner would add to our ability to provide the Infratil companies with value enhancing investment opportunities across an increased range of infrastructure activities. We are confident that Lend Lease will more than measure up as such a partner."
The investment is subject to final documentation and OIC approval in New Zealand.
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