Trustpower is exploring the possible sale of its retail business

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The electricity generator and retailer Trustpower is exploring the possible sale of its retail business.

22363608 - electricity pylon against the blue sky

Photo: 123RF

The company’s retail operation sells electricity, gas and wireless broadband services to about 231,000 people nationwide.

It said it was conducting the strategic review because of significant changes in the energy and utility retailing markets.

“Electrification and decarbonisation, decentralised energy, digital trends in service provision and utilities convergence are all shaking up traditional operating models,” Trustpower chairman Paul Ridley-Smith said.

“The Board intends to examine the options available for our market position, given these changes and opportunities.”

As part of the review, which is expected to take a number of months, the company would test if its generation business could be a standalone entity.

Ridley-Smith acknowledged the announcement would have implications for the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT), which is one of its major shareholders.

“TECT has advised they will be addressing potential impacts on the Trust and the rebate distribution and will communicate with Trust beneficiaries.”

In response to the announcement, TECT said in connection with the review it was looking at how any change would affect its structure and its beneficiaries, who are retail consumers of Trustpower.

“In particular, Trustees are focused on protecting the TECT rebate for existing beneficiaries.”

It said it would provide a full update to beneficiaries on the proposed changes shortly.

Utilities investor Infratil, which has been the target of takeover interest from Australian investment funds, is a 51 percent shareholder in Trustpower and supported the review.

Trustpower is the country’s fifth largest electricity generator and the fourth largest retailer by market share.

It owns 25 hydro power schemes across New Zealand.

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