Major listed Australian wind farm operator set to go private

Infratil and Mercury launched a joint bid to take 100% ownership of Tilt Renewables, which holds 11% of Australia’s installed wind capacity.

ASX- and NZX-listed wind farm operator Tilt Renewables is set to go private following an offer from its two largest shareholders.

The two shareholders – listed infrastructure entity Infratil and renewable energy generator Mercury NZ – announced their intention to make a full takeover offer and privatise the company. The bidders hold or control 51.09 percent and 19.99 percent of Tilt’s shares, respectively.

The offer price of NZ$2.3 ($1.5; €1.3) per share represents a 24.3 percent premium to Tilt’s closing price on 11 May, the last day before Mercury NZ acquired its 19.99 percent stake from TECT Holdings. It values Tilt Renewables’ equity at NZ$720 million.

Tilt Renewables has a total installed wind farm capacity of 637MW in Australia across eight assets, representing 11 percent of installed wind capacity in the country. It has a development pipeline of more than 1,600MW of planning-approved projects covering wind, solar and storage.

The company recently submitted a bid to the Victorian Government to sell output from the 336MW Dundonnell wind farm, a project that requires “significant capital investment” from Tilt and its shareholders, Infratil said today in a statement. Infratil and Mercury’s offer will allow shareholders to sell their shares at an “attractive price”, it added.

TECT Holdings is still the third-largest shareholder in Tilt, retaining a 6.81 percent stake, but it granted Mercury an option over the remainder of its shares in May. Mercury intends to exercise the option should its offer become fully unconditional, with Infratil to become the ultimate owner of the shares.

Infratil stated it will fund the purchase of all the shares that it and Mercury do not currently control at a cost of $NZ208.54 million.

Infratil is managed under contract by New Zealand fund manager Morrison & Co, which has recently taken over the management of Utilities Trust of Australia from Hastings Funds Management.