UAC Energy Holdings has ended up with a 20% ownership stake in Australian renewable energy company Infigen Energy Ltd (ASX:IFN) after the closing of a takeover offer and certain on-market purchases.
The investment vehicle owned jointly by Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corporation’s AC Energy and Hong Kong-based UPC Renewables Group said in a statement today that it secured a 13.8% interest in Infigen last Friday, when its takeover offer closed, and then bought an additional 6.2% of the company’s outstanding securities.
UAC is limited by Australian takeover rules to an ownership stake of 20% at this time, a bourse filing says.
The investor was widely reported to be in a takeover battle over Infigen with Spain’s Iberdrola SA (BME:IBE), but UAC chairman Anton Rohner stated on Wednesday that the goal of the offer was to obtain a material stake in Infigen and was not predicated on control.
“We are pleased to have met our objective, and look forward to supporting Infigen’s future growth,” Rohner added.
John Eric T Francia, the CEO of AC Energy, which has a 75% stake in UAC, said that the Australian renewables sector continues to be a part of the company’s core strategy.
“Our initial investment decision was based on the attractiveness of the Australian market and the strength of Infigen’s portfolio and management. With Iberdrola expected to become Infigen’s largest securityholder, we believe the outlook for our investment has further strengthened,” added Jose-Maria Zabaleta, AC Energy chief development officer and UAC director.
Meanwhile, Iberdrola continues to bid for the balance of Infigen’s securities with an offer of AUD 0.92 (USD 0.66/EUR 0.56) apiece. Last week, the Spanish utility committed to increase its offer to the current level from AUD 0.89 per share, but only if it receives acceptances for at least 13% of additional Infigen stapled securities. That condition was met soon after and Iberdrola was reported to have built a 38.06% stake.
The latest improvement in Iberdrola’s proposal values the Australian renewable energy plants owner at AUD 893 million. On the other hand, UAC’s total investment in Infigen is valued at about AUD 178 million. The investment vehicle noted that it acquired Infigen securities at a weighted average price of some AUD 0.793 apiece, which is an almost 14% discount to Iberdrola’s current offer price.
The board of Infigen has been recommending that Infigen’s stockholders reject the offer from UAC and accept the latest one made by Iberdrola in the absence of a superior proposal.