NEW ZEALAND - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board's (CPPIB) partial takeover offer for Auckland International Airport has been accepted by 62.4% of shareholders.
Graeme Bevans, vice president - head of infrastructure at CPPIB, said: "It has always been our objective to hold a minority stake in Auckland Airport and we have structured our offer to reflect this.
"It is our desire to be a cornerstone, long term minority investor of Auckland International Airport and our investment will assist New Zealanders in maintaining control of this important strategic asset."
CPPIB announced earlier this week that it intends to voluntarily reduce its voting power on all shareholder resolutions, with the exception of resolutions that affect the rights attaching to CPPIB's shares, to 24.9% of all Auckland International Airport voting shares on issue.
CPPIB has also voluntarily agreed to limit the number of directors associated with CPPIB that it will nominate for appointment to the airport board to a maximum of 25% of AIAL directors (but not in any case fewer than two directors).
The move came after New Zealand's finance minister Michael Cullen announced a new regulation under the Overseas Investment Act 2005, in response to CPPIB's bid, to bolster the factors ministers may take into account when considering overseas investment applications that affect a narrow range of strategically important assets.
Bevans said: "We are confident that we will be able to meet the overseas investment criteria."
Auckland Airport chairman Tony Frankham said the transaction needed final approval from the Overseas Investment Office by 11 April in order to become unconditional.
He said: "Auckland Airport hopes that, in the interests of certainty and an informed market, the government ministers concerned will announce their decision well before this deadline.
"If approval is not gained by this date, the offer will lapse and the shares offered for sale will no longer be subject to the bid which means they will be free to be traded as usual."
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