Christchurch council unit ups Lyttelton Port stake

Posted 04 Jul 2012 by MediaStuff
This item was posted on the Stuff.co.nz website - click here to view the original

 

The continued purchase of shares in Lyttelton Port of Christchurch by Christchurch City Holdings has been criticised as ill-timed by another LPC shareholder.

The purchase comes at a time when it has been proposed that CCHL sell down assets to help fund the repair of damage by the Canterbury earthquakes.

The Government, Treasury and Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend have suggested the councils or the city council should consider selling assets because of the earthquake repair bill.

Christchurch City Holdings (CCHL), the infrastructure arm of the city, bought nearly 600,000 shares between November 2010 and June 2012, according to the shareholder, Mike Daniel.

He said the purchase of shares had continued steadily in the period since September 4, 2010 the date of the first significant Canterbury earthquake. Since the February 22, 2011 earthquake there has been constant discussion on how the damage (some covered by insurance) will be paid for.

"Since the 26th of November 2010, Christchurch City Holdings have bought 595,523 Lyttelton port shares ... that's a relevant date because Christchurch hasn't got any money," Daniel said.

"They've moved from 78.91 per cent in that time to 79.14 per cent. What's even more relevant is that Lyttelton port hasn't paid a dividend now for nearly two years because they have a dispute with the insurers and they're saying we're not paying out to shareholders until we've got this insurance thing resolved."

Daniel, a former chairman of North Port Corp, is the third third largest shareholder in LPC, holding 507,6000 shares or around a half a per cent of shares on issue.

Port Otago owns around 15.48 per cent, and is turn wholly owned by the Otago Regional Council.

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