IFM offers billions in cash for 22.7% stake in Spain's Naturgy

Wind park. Source: Global Power Generation (GPG)

January 27 (Renewables Now) - IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (IFM GIF) on Tuesday launched an offer to buy up to 220 million shares in Spanish power and gas utility Naturgy Energy Group SA (BME:NTGY) to take up to a 22.69% stake in the company.

The investment fund is willing to pay EUR 5.06 billion (USD 6.13bn) in cash, or EUR 23 per share. This price represents a 19.7% premium over the closing value of Naturgy’s stock on Monday, it was announced in a filing with Spanish stock market regulator CNMV by IFM Investors. IFM Investors, a company owned by Australian pension funds, is the manager of IFM GIF.

IFM GIF would adjust the offer downwards if Naturgy pays or announces to pay dividends, distributions or similar remuneration before the offer is settled.

In a separate filing, Naturgy said it had only learned of the offer on Tuesday morning after IFM Investors posted the disclosure, and had hired investment bank Citi and law firm Freshfields.

Naturgy’s shareholders, Rioja Acquisition and GIP III Canary I, which hold a combined 41.36% stake, sent letters to IFM Investors saying they reject the offer, but will support the fund’s right to be proportionally represented on the board.

IFM GIF’s offer is subject to regulatory approval and reaching a minimum acceptance level of at least 17% of Naturgy’s total share capital, IFM Investors added.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.211)

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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