PEP declares Energy Developments offer unconditional

The Australian private equity firm has secured a 48.64% interest in the Queensland-based renewable energy provider, which has been the object of private equity advances since June last year.

Pacific Equity Partners-owned Greenspark Power Holdings has today declared its takeover offer to acquire all the shares of Australia Securities Exchange-listed renewable energy company Energy Developments unconditional.

This follows an announcement today on the New Zealand stock Exchange from energy infrastructure company Infratil, the largest shareholder in Energy Developments, that it has sold its 32.47% stake in the company in the takeover offer for A$139.9 million.

Other institutional shareholders in the Queensland-based company have also sold their holdings, increasing PEP'S stake to 48.64 percent stake.

Greenspark is offering A$2.75 per share or a total consideration of A$431 million ($401 million; €276.5 million). PEP has extended its offer till 22 January unless it acquires 50.1 percent or a larger stake in Energy Development shares by 15 January or Energy Developments makes a public announcement recommending that shareholders accept Greenspark’s offer in the absence of a superior proposal by the same day.

“There is limited time for shareholders to accept the offer before it closes and Greenspark has no intention of making a follow-on takeover offer once the current offer closes,” Rob Koczkar, director of Greenspark and a managing director at Pacific Equity Partners, said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange today.

PEP's offer of A$431 million, made in November last year, represents PEP's second bid for Energy Developments and is an A$16 million increase on the first offer it made for the company in mid-October. Pacific Equity Partners also said in November it intends to fund the offer with 100 percent equity, leaving Energy Developments’ corporate debt facilities in place should the bid be successful.

The Sydney-headquartered firm is not the only private equity firm to have made a play for the company. In September 2009, Energy Developments said it had received a buyout offer that could be worth upwards of A$430 million without naming the private equity firm. A month prior to that, the company ceased discussions on another buyout proposal from Archer Capital, which offered A$2.80 per share in a revised offer issued in July.

PEP's final offer represents a 52 percent, 49 percent and 59 percent premium respectively on the closing share price, and one-month and three-month volume average weighted share prices of Energy Developments prior to the annoncement of Archer Capital's initial proposal on 5 June 2009. At the time of PEP's revised offer, Energy Developments said it represented “inadequate consideration for the acquisition of a controlling stake in the company”.