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Hutchinson to invest in New Zealand

Hutchinson to invest in New Zealand

The deal, whereby Hutchinson Port Holdings Ltd will purchase 49.9% of the Lyttelton Port Co from Christchurch City Holdings Ltd, marks its first investment into the southern hemisphere in a bid to tap into the Chinese export market.

Hutchinson is already the world’s largest port manager. The Hong Kong-based company, controlled by Asia’s wealthiest businessman Li Ka-Shing, is certainly experienced and well placed enough to meet China’s burgeoning energy resource needs.

The acquisition of Lyttelton will give Hutchinson access to a harbour in New Zealand which includes bulk-loading facilities and cranes.

The deal is a timely one, in accordance with China’s announcement today that it is investing in all its port facilities to increase capacity. Of the record 26.2m tonnes of coal it imported last year, 171,000 tonnes came from New Zealand at an estimated cost of US$21.7m.

The proposal has yet to be approved by City regulators, with Hutchinson offering US$72m for the stake. If it goes ahead, a joint venture will be formed between the two companies to manage the harbour.