Auckland Airport to focus on "moving forward"

11 April 2008

Chairman of Auckland Airport, Tony Frankham, said the board would focus on moving the business forward following the rejection of CPPIB's application to acquire a 40 per cent stake in the company.

"Earlier today, Ministers Parker and Cosgrove confirmed that CPPIB's application under the Overseas Investment Act had been declined. "As this final condition has not been met, CPPIB's offer will not proceed. Shareholders who accepted the offer will now be free to trade their shares." Mr Frankham said that, while the decision of the Ministers is not consistent with the wishes of a majority of Auckland Airport shareholders who voted to approve the CPPIB takeover, the board nevertheless needed to focus on moving the business forward.

"Directors will re-consider the issues of the company's capital structure and the prospects for introducing a new cornerstone shareholder that could add strategic value.

"These issues will be revisited in light of the very different circumstances we face today; including the new limits placed on investment in strategic assets by overseas investors, the changes in the tax treatment of stapled securities and the material deterioration in global financial markets," he said. Mr Frankham said that excellent progress was being achieved on the implementation of the company's Masterplan 2025 which is designed to enhance the company's business and create shareholder value over the long-term.

"The plan places particular emphasis on developing the airport and enhancing the overall travel experience for the benefit of the passengers, airlines and visitors. In line with this objective we are about to complete the last stage of our $500 million investment programme which has touched every aspect of the airport business over the past four years.

"Directors believe that this significant investment in the airport, and the prospect of new airline capacity entering the market over the next few years, will enable us to continue to deliver sustainable growth in earnings for shareholders," he said.

For further information, please contact:

Lucy Powell
Head of Communications
Ph: +64 0 9 256 8866
Mob: +64 0 21 995 710