Theolia ‘supports’ Macquarie offer

The board of the French wind power producer is backing a takeover by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) has made what it describes as a “friendly takeover offer” for French wind electricity producer Theolia, which operates almost 1,300 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity.

The offer has been made on behalf of MIRA’s Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4 (MEIF 4), which reached a final close on €2.75 billion in May this year (plus an additional €2 billion in co-investment agreements), beating a target of €2 billion.

A statement on behalf of both firms said the offer aims to give Theolia “a long-term majority shareholder that will provide stability in a difficult economic and regulatory environment. Theolia will thus be able to plan repayment of its convertible bonds ahead of the early redemption date of 1 January 2015, and to pursue its development plans”.

The offer is pitched at a price of €1.70 per share, representing a premium of 51.8 percent over the share price prior to the announcement of the offer, and 40.8 percent over the volume-weighted average price over one month. At close of trading on the NYSE Euronext Paris on Friday, Theolia was valued at almost €73 million.

At the time the offer was filed, four shareholders representing 13.45 percent of the share capital and 17.96 percent of the voting rights had supported the offer, including chief executive Fady Khallouf, who described the offer as a “great opportunity”.

Based in Aix-en-Provence, Theolia develops, builds and operates wind farms in France, Germany, Italy and Morocco. It operates 1,269MW of capacity for its own account and on behalf of third parties.

MEIF 4 is the successor to three prior European funds raised by Australia’s Macquarie, which have been investing in Europe since 2003. MEIF 4 has already made investments in Open Grid Europe and RWE Grid Holdings, two gas networks based in Germany and the Czech Republic respectively.