Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is recommending to its 70,000 ratepayers that the council sell up to 45 percent of the Port of Napier in order to free up capital and diversify the council's investment base.
The share sale, one of four options ratepayers will be asked to consider, could raise $83 million for the council after port-related debt of almost $87 million is repaid and sale costs of about $11 million are met.
Other options put to ratepayers include granting a new firm a long-term operating lease, funding the port’s expansion through a combination of borrowing and rate increases, or selling a minority stake to another firm.
Chairman Rex Graham said the port was too vital to the region to have its growth constrained. Listing a minority stake will ensure the council can still meet its other obligations, while retaining exposure to a strategic and growing regional asset. . . . read on . . . >