The takeover of ASX listed Infigen Energy by renewables giant Iberdrola is looking increasingly likely, as after the Spanish company increased its ownership stake in the wind farm developer, and announced its offer was now unconditional.
Iberdrola has sought to takeover Infigen Energy, one of Australia’s earliest publicly listed wind energy developers, in a deal worth $A864 million.
Iberdrola confirmed on Wednesday that it had increased its holdings of Infigen Energy to 23.97 per cent, and would remove a minimum acceptance requirement on its offer.
Iberdrola has secured this early ownership stake via the 20 per cent holding it agreed to purchase from the UK-based Children’s Investment Fund, and 3.82 per cent of Infigen Energy shares that had already accepted its takeover proposal.
It has been reported that Iberdrola acquired this smaller stake from specialist infrastructure investment fund manager Infrastructure Capital Group.
Iberdrola has removed the minimum acceptance condition on its offer, which had required at least 50 per cent of all outstanding shares to be sold to Iberdrola before the takeover was progressed. The company also said that it would accelerate the payment to shareholders who accept the offer, saying that they would be in a position to pay shareholders within five business days (down from one month).
Iberdrola said that its offer now clearly represented a better deal for Infigen Energy shareholders compared to a competing offer made by Philippines based UAC Energy, and has the active support of the Infigen Energy board.
“Under our now accelerated payment terms, all Infigen security holders can now be certain of payment of 89 cents per Infigen security for their securities being dispatched within 5 Business Days of Iberdrola’s receipt of their valid acceptance,” a spokesperson for Iberdrola said.
“This price is superior to the lower offer from UAC Energy; offers greater price certainty and value for all Infigen security holders compared to the undisturbed trading price of Infigen securities prior to the current takeover offers; and is not subject to brokerage and potential market price volatility associated with an on-market sale of securities.”
Infigen Energy operates a 670MW portfolio of wind generation across seven projects, including the Capital and Woodlawn wind farms in New South Wales and each of the three “stages” of the Lake Bonney wind farms in South Australia.
The 57MW Cherry Tree wind farm is also currently undergoing commissioning.
Iberdrola already has plans for its expansion into the Australian market, with a 650MW development pipeline that includes a 320MW hybrid wind and solar project planned in South Australia’s Spencer Gulf.
The Infigen Board has urged shareholders to accept the “friendly” bid from Iberdrola. The competing bid, from UAC Energy, quickly crossed into hostile takeover territory.
As of Thursday, UAC Energy was offering a lower purchase price for Infigen Energy, set at 86 cents per share, with no subsequent counteroffer appearing to be forthcoming after Iberdrola bettered its bid.