The government of New Zealand has rejected the Canada Pension Plan Investment’s Board offer for a minority stake in Auckland International Airport Limited, saying the bid would not benefit the country.

“Under the Overseas Investment Act 2005, ministers are required to decline consent if they are not satisfied that all of the applicable criteria are met,” say New Zealand’s Land Information Minister David Parker and Associate Finance Minister Clayton Cosgrove. “In this case we are not satisfied that the ‘benefit to New Zealand’ criterion is met.”

CPPIB’s partial takeover offer for the airport required its Overseas Investment Act application to be approved in order for the offer to become unconditional.

The offer received the necessary levels of shareholder acceptance and approvals.

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“We are naturally very disappointed in the outcome,” says Graeme Bevans, CPPIB’s vice-president – head of infrastructure. “CPPIB appreciates the support we have received from the 29,000 largely New Zealand, Auckland International Airport shareholders who accepted our offer.”

Under the terms of the offer, the offer will now lapse. Shareholders who accepted the offer are now free to deal with their holdings as they wish.

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