Meridian exits stake in company
State power firm Meridian Energy has exited its loss-making venture Whisper Tech after 13 years, but it will not reveal how much it has lost until its next annual report.
The state-owned enterprise's chief executive Mark Binns announced yesterday the SOE had sold the remaining assets of subsidiary Whisper Tech, which designed a domestic gas boiler for the European market, to its Spanish joint venture partner, Mondragon, for a confidential and "extremely modest sum".
Whisper Tech had a 40 per cent stake in the joint venture, called Efficient Home Energy, which is now made in Spain for the European market. Meridian has been an investor in Whisper Tech since 1999.
The gas-fired domestic boiler, producing hot water for heating and electricity, was invented by Canterbury University engineering graduate Dr Don Clucas and local electricity firm Orion provided seed capital and early on had a 33 per cent holding. Meridian later also took a stake.
Binns said Meridian had already written off nearly $44 million of loans to Whisper Tech, and would take another impairment this year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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