October 23, 2013 / 6:39 AM / 4 years ago

NZ's Meridian Energy IPO prices at bottom of range, raises $1.6 bln

WELLINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - New Zealand state-owned power company Meridian Energy Ltd sold shares at NZ$1.50 each in its initial public offering, at the bottom of their indicative range, raising about NZ$1.88 billion ($1.6 billion), the government said on Wednesday.

The sale of the 49 percent stake is the second in a string of planned asset sales by the New Zealand government, which wants to to raise about NZ$5 billion to repay debt and return to a budget surplus.

The final pricing compares with a projected price range of of NZ$1.50 to NZ$1.80.

The company will list on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges on Oct. 29.

Deutsche Bank, Craigs Investment Partners, Goldman Sachs, and Macquarie Capital were lead managers for the float.

Payment will take place in two stages, with NZ$1.00 a share paid on application and the balance in May 2015, during which time shareholders will get three dividend payments. ($1 = 1.1733 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Gyles Beckford and Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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