Cost of Mighty River sale keeps on rising

Written By: - Date published: 7:27 am, August 29th, 2013 - 30 comments
Categories: assets, privatisation - Tags:

Somehow, National managed to spend $66 million on selling Mighty River Power. That’s twice what they promised it would cost. For comparison, it’s the same amount as it costs to put 750 kids through school, all the way from Year 1 to 13 – and National wasted it on brokers and middlemen.

The Greens (who showed the that sale cost $66m) have done the numbers on Mighty River’s profit announcement to work out the Crown would have a net $2.3 million more per week if it hadn’t sold the shares. That ongoing, permanent loss is enough to pay for the education of 18,000 kids.

Let’s say it again: National spent $66 million on selling Mighty River and are now adding $2.3 million a week more to that cost. Today, 15 weeks after the sale, the total cost of selling Mighty River stands at $102 million. By the end of the year, it will be $143 million. By the election, it will be quarter of a billion dollars.

National was cock-a-hoop about the $1,686 million it got for selling the shares. Well, it’s eroding pretty bloody fast, isn’t it? And once it’s gone, the cost of foregone net profits will just keep on building up. That’s what happens when you sell a highly profitable asset to avoid low interest debt. Like Russel Norman says “so much for the supposed business acumen of the National Party”.

(and, yes, that $2.3 million a week figure is net of the borrowing costs that would otherwise have been incurred)

30 comments on “Cost of Mighty River sale keeps on rising”

  1. geoff 1

    National_Party_ business_ acumen == oxymoron;

    >> true

  2. Hanswurst 2

    “National was cock-a-hoop about the $1,686 million it got for selling the shares.”

    $1.686 billion, surely?

  3. tricledrown 3

    John Keys old employer
    Merrill Lynch under investigation by SEC again.
    Insider trading and more corupt practices.
    Key following suit with firesale having to bribe investors to rip off NZ taxpayers!

    • Tracey 3.1

      Now VERO wants to muscle in on EQC’s work claiming it can do better.

      Iterestingly VERO was responsible for 20,000 of which 60% have settled. Not sure how this makes for stellar processing. Also I cannot find the average payout percentage of those settlements, assuming many wont be for 100%.

      Note one of the “problems” noted by the big insurers is how slow people are to decide if they want to accept a settlement… WTF??? Ungrateful bastards, imagine taking your time to consider if you will take less than you believed (and paid) to be covered for.

      “Dransfield’s comments follow those a week ago of fellow Australian insurance giant IAG in a report to investors. IAG said the major obstacles to settling claims in Christchurch were land remediation issues with EQC and customers’ slowness to decide on settlement options. ”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9097701/Insurance-giant-wants-claim-changes

      EQC seems to have had a FAR bigger workload. Here is the EQC statistic page

      http://www.eqc.govt.nz/canterbury-earthquakes/progress-updates/scorecard

      I’d rather our Govt focused on getting the private insurers to concentrate on uppping their own game before trying to muscle in on taxpayer money and no doubt pavng the way to privatisation of EQC in the near future.

  4. Sable 4

    Rich parasites ripping off the rest of society. The real “bludgers”…

    • Tracey 4.1

      sorry posted under wrong comment

      Now VERO wants to muscle in on EQC’s work claiming it can do better.

      Iterestingly VERO was responsible for 20,000 of which 60% have settled. Not sure how this makes for stellar processing. Also I cannot find the average payout percentage of those settlements, assuming many wont be for 100%.

      Note one of the “problems” noted by the big insurers is how slow people are to decide if they want to accept a settlement… WTF??? Ungrateful bastards, imagine taking your time to consider if you will take less than you believed (and paid) to be covered for.

      “Dransfield’s comments follow those a week ago of fellow Australian insurance giant IAG in a report to investors. IAG said the major obstacles to settling claims in Christchurch were land remediation issues with EQC and customers’ slowness to decide on settlement options. ”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9097701/Insurance-giant-wants-claim-changes

      EQC seems to have had a FAR bigger workload. Here is the EQC statistic page

      http://www.eqc.govt.nz/canterbury-earthquakes/progress-updates/scorecard

      I’d rather our Govt focused on getting the private insurers to concentrate on uppping their own game before trying to muscle in on taxpayer money and no doubt pavng the way to privatisation of EQC in the near future.

  5. Chris 5

    Very strange maths from the Greens – how does the growth in equity (which is mainly due to increase in fair value of hedges) reduce the borrowing costs? This growth would never be realised by the Greens as they would not sell the shares.

    Also they are recognising the full amount of dividends ($168m) as additional earnings but not taking the full amount of dividends out of equity – for reference the annual report currently only shows $112m being paid for 2013:

    http://www.mightyriver.co.nz/PDFs/Results/Annual-Reports/Annual-Report-2013.aspx

    Finally there doesn’t seem to be any recognition that the Government still owns 51% of the shares -they are still entitled to well over half of the dividends – actually $140m of those dividends ($112m were paid before the shares were sold)

    • lightly 5.1

      growth in equity can be ‘cashed up’ by having the SOEs issue special dividends financed by bond issues. That’s been done multiple times.

      and, actually, that’s beside the point. the opportunity cost was borrowing $1686m at 2.9% and getting a TSR of 11.1% on $1686m instead. It doesn’t matter that the TSR isn’t all in cash

  6. Tamati 6

    Actually we should be commending the investment bankers. They managed to sell MRP for considerably more than it’s worth. By Overpricing the IPO and running an effective marketing roadshow they were able to convince gullible investors that $2.50 per share was a fair price. An overnight win for the taxpayers, bravo!

    Unfortunately this does however undermine the credibility of the future SOE IPO’s.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “An overnight win for the taxpayers, bravo!”

      Subtract the cost of sale from the $2.50 share price and then decide if it was a win for the taxpayers.

      • Tamati 6.1.1

        Okay,

        No. of shares sold at IPO =686,000,000

        Shares Issued @ $2.50

        Gross Sale Proceeds =1.715b

        Less Cost of Sale=65 800 000

        Net Sale Proceeds=1.649b

        Current Value Market Cap of MRP= 1.4b x 2.20= 3.08b

        Amount held by publically= 3.08 x 0.49=1.509b.

        Net Gain from overpricing, as at 29/08/13

        =1.649-1.509=0.14b or $140,000,000

        So as I said, a nice gain to the taxpayers due to over pricing. The downside is that the future IPOs will have to be underpriced, so we are likely to lose overall.

        • framu 6.1.1.1

          youve left off reduced dividends both now and in the future – so were still loosing to start with

          • Tamati 6.1.1.1.1

            The future dividend are precisely what the government is selling per se. So the amount the government recieves for the shares is, by definition, the value of all future dividends of the company.

            On a purely financial basis, it all comes down to what the governments cost of capital is compared to that of a potential investor…so pretty subjective really. This of course does not consider the effects of a high debt burden on the government.

            • framu 6.1.1.1.1.1

              wha?! – that doesnt make much sense. Yes the govt is selling the future dividend but for a fixed one off sum.

              we used to get 100% of the dividend – we now get 51% plus a one off sum from the sale

              treasury has stated this will leave us worse of – and compounding over time

              not disputing your math – just raising the point that looking at the sale alone doesnt tell the whole picture in regards to cost. You need to factor in losses (or gains) both now and in the future that are the result of the sale.

              disclaimer: im no share market guy – so apologies if theres something there that im missing that is obvious to others

              update: going back through the chain of comments i see ive sort of jumped in mid topic and changed tack a bit from the original conversation – whoops

              • Tamati

                Yep.

                That’s exactly what the government is doing (and everyone who every buys or sells a share does), selling all the future dividends for a fixed one off sum. The value of a share is fundamentally determined by the present value of all future dividends.

                It is essentially a zero sume game.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Actually, it’s a negative sum game as far as state assets go. The state never gets the full amount that the shares are worth over their lifetime. This has been proven quite conclusively over the last 20 years in NZ. Telecom sold for something like $4b – 20 years later there’s close to $20 billion in dividends been taken out of it. Even with inflation taken into account we’ve lost far more than what we got selling it.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Lifetime of a state asset is effectively infinite.

                  • Tamati

                    I don’t really know about Telecom. But from what I understand it was sold for a price considerably less than what was thought fair.

                    Also, when considering Telecom’s dividends you have to discount them for more than just inflation. Have to consider the companies overall cost of capital, which usually amounts to between 8%-10%.

                • framu

                  ok – cool

                  so we need to factor in the ongoing reduced revenue then – its part of the loss

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.2

          Much easier just to calculate that the revenue per share that the government got was really $2.40 per share, not $2.50.

          So as long as the share price is less than $2.40, the government has “benefited” from the sales, and when the share price goes over $2.40, the government has “lost” from the sales.

  7. Skinny 7

    The ever reliable David Parker is taking care of business and the position of 2IC.

    English admits Tiwai deal done to sell Meridian
     
    Bill English has today finally conceded that a prime reason the $30 million subsidy was given to Rio Tinto to keep running its Tiwai Point smelter was to get the sale of Meridian over the line, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
     
    “Since the Rio Tinto subsidy was announced Bill English has pretended that the deal was about jobs and refused to admit that the prime motive was to remove uncertainty for investors so he could get Meridian off the block.

    “Now he’s been found out.

    “Labour put an Official Information Act request to the head of Treasury about the Rio Tinto deal. It was answered by the Director of the Government Share Offer Programme. That’s the asset sales division. That’s proof the deal was done to sell Meridian.

    “Today in Parliament Bill English finally admitted what everyone knew. He said: ‘One of the reasons is that it would create certainty for investors on Meridian’ and admitted the deal may not have happened if Meridian wasn’t being sold.

    “Everyone knew that was why the deal was struck, especially given the big winner was clearly Rio Tinto.

    “That this subsidy was ad hoc is also proven by the fact that neither Norse Skog nor Holcim Cement – both large energy-intensive employers – were offered a subsidy to prevent their layoffs.

    “The Rio Tinto subsidy, a clear Government intervention in the electricity market, is further proof that New Zealand’s electricity market is uncompetitive. There is no doubt the intervention keeps electricity bills for other businesses and New Zealand residential consumers higher.

    “In one day at Question Time Bill English has dropped his façade around the Meridian sale and proven yet again that New Zealand electricity prices are too high and the market is uncompetitive,” says David Parker.

    • tc 7.1

      yes a bit too off the radar given all the material supplied by the nat’s for my liking but that could be down to him playing the old guard hand carefully to stay in touch, he’s loyal and would be an OK finance minister.

      well played Mr Parker, now for the MSM follow up, not holding my breath.

  8. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8

    the Crown would have a net $2.3 million more per week if it hadn’t sold the shares

    But not if Labour and the Greens are in control of the power. Then, the Crown would get nothing from it.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      No, instead it would be directly in the hands of the consumers who wouldn’t be paying out that out amount in dead weight loss.

      • framu 8.1.1

        which strangely enough is the exact same argument used by those pumping for tax cuts 🙂

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