New directors for Solid Energy

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 14:39 24/01/2014

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Two new directors have been appointed to the board of state-owned Solid Energy as the coalminer continues to battle lower coal prices.

State-owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said today Keiran Horne and Rabin Rabindran have been appointed directors of Solid Energy.

"Shareholding ministers believe the new members' skill and experience will assist the company in achieving its new strategic direction," Ryall said in a statement.

Horne is based in Christchurch, and is a consultant with HFK Ltd, a chartered accountancy practice. She is also a member of the Crown Asset Management board.

Crown Asset Management was set up by the Government at the end of 2011 and in early 2012 to take on the remaining toxic assets of the failed finance companies under Crown guarantee.

Rabindran is an Auckland-based barrister and legal consultant. He has governance experience on several Auckland transport and water infrastructure boards.

It was announced in December that the auditor-general would hold further inquiries into the near failure of Solid Energy, including why it had been bullish about energy prices.

Solid Energy agreed earlier last year to a debt-for-equity swap with its lenders to reduce its debt of nearly $400 million, with the Government warning the alternative was liquidation.

In 2011, the Government started moves to test the readiness of Solid Energy for a listing on the public markets, in the hope of selling up to 49 per cent of the company. But it was later found the coalminer's financial position had deteriorated after overoptimistic expansion and a collapse in the price of coal.

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