Vector has sold 50% of its New Zealand and Australian metering business (Vector Metering) to investment vehicles managed and advised by QIC Private Capital Pty Limited (QIC) for an EV of NZ$2.5b and gross proceeds to Vector of NZ$1.7b.
Vector Metering is the largest smart metering platform across Australia and New Zealand, providing smart meter data services from more than two million electricity and gas meters.
Vector Group Chief Executive Simon Mackenzie said, “We’re very satisfied with the outcome of our strategic review. QIC is a strong long-term partner for Vector Metering, given QIC’s scale, experience and breadth of relationships in the New Zealand and Australian energy markets, its access to capital and its shared commitment to growth and customer outcomes.”
Vector Chair Jonathan Mason said, “The metering joint venture will contribute, over the long term, to the unregulated side of Vector’s portfolio, with several reviews underway in Australia that are expected to support an expanding market with accelerated smart meter deployment.”
Completion of the transaction was conditional on consent under the Overseas Investment Act in New Zealand, approval under the Foreign Acquisitions & Takeovers Act in Australia, and finalisation of third-party financing arrangements. Each condition was satisfied, and the transaction settled on 30 June 2023.
Vector was advised by Chapman Tripp on vendor due diligence, structuring, Overseas Investment Act consent, the joint venture’s debt finance arrangements, pre-sale restructuring, negotiation of transaction documentation with multiple bidders, and completion. The core transaction team included Partners, Roger Wallis, Kelly McFadzien, Marie Wisker, Cathryn Barber and Alex Franks who were supported by Kishan Gunatunga, Harry Pye, Teresa Macbeth and Sophie Chan.
Vector was also advised by Harmos Horton Lusk on joint venture and governance arrangements, and King & Wood Mallesons on Australian law. QIC was advised by Russell McVeagh and Herbert Smith Freehills.