New Zealand's Mercury buys USD-100m stake in Tilt Renewables

Wind farm in Australia. Author: Steven Caddy. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

May 14 (Renewables Now) - New Zealand electricity generator and retailer Mercury NZ Ltd (NZE:MCY) said today it has agreed to buy a 19.99% stake in Tilt Renewables Ltd (NZE:TLT) from the Tauranga Electricity Consumer Trust (TECT) for NZD 143.9 million (USD 100.1m/EUR 83.6m) in cash.

The price represents NZD 2.30 per share and Mercury, formerly Mighty River Power, has also agreed a six-month option to acquire TECT's remaining 6.81% stake in Tilt at the same price. Exercising the option should be in compliance with the New Zealand Takeovers Code.

Tilt has seven operating wind farms in Australia and New Zealand, and a development pipeline, which according to its recently released annual report, stands at 3.5 GW, including wind, as well as solar and storage technologies.  

Mercury, which generates 100% renewable electricity from hydro and geothermal resources, said the deal is consistent with its strategy for economic growth and comes after the company has explored other opportunities around the electricity sector in Australia. "The investment will allow Mercury to meaningfully participate in Australia’s accelerating transition to renewable energy sources," said Mercury chief executive Fraser Whineray.

Mercury expects further potential investment opportunities to take advantage of Tilt's Australian position as projects are developed.

(NZD 1 = USD 0.695/EUR 0.581)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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