Macquarie fights back in Alinta row

Australian bank Macquarie has criticised the Alinta board for recommending a rival bid led by Babcock & Brown.

Australian bank Macquarie has written to directors of Alinta, an Australian utility, arguing that its own earlier offer is “superior” to the bid recommended by the board.

Macquarie said its A$15.45 per share offer was preferable to the A$15.00 offer made by Babcock & Brown and Singapore Power, which was recommended by Alinta’s directors last Friday.

Babcock’s offer of A$15 per share is based on A$8.50 in cash plus shares in three of Babcock’s specialist listed funds. The offer will reach A$15.40 with the inclusion of tax credits.

Macquarie has asked for the independent expert being brought in to assess Babcock’s bid to also consider its own higher offer.

According the Financial Times, Alinta director John Akehurst has said the board is unwilling to support certain aspects of Macquarie’s bid, despite it appearing to be worth more to shareholders.

Macquarie was previously dropped as Alinta’s corporate advisor after news emerged that it had joined forces with the company’s former chairman and chief to bid for the company. The pair have now been told by Alinta to cease all contact with the bank.