Bidding war continues as Infigen backs Iberdrola’s revised offer

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The bidding war for Australia’s largest ASX-listed renewable energy generator has continued as rivals increased their respective offers. On Monday, Philippines-linked investment company UAC Energy Holdings raised its offer for Infigen to $0.86 per share and declared it free of all conditions, while Iberdrola increased its bid to $0.89.

On Tuesday, the Infigen board unanimously recommended investors to accept the takeover offer from Spain’s Iberdrola, saying that the Spanish company had also waived the conditions on its off-market takeover bid. Namely, the offer has been freed of conditions other than the minimum acceptance condition that Iberdrola acquires more than 50% of the Infigen stapled securities and the condition that it receives approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

Infigen said in a statement it expected both these conditions to be met, and urged shareholders to reject UAC’s offer. UAC has been active in Australia since 2017 as an Australian proprietary company that is 75% owned by AC Energy and 25% by UPC Renewables Australia, both of which are ultimately owned the Philippines based Ayala Group.

The Philippines company was first to announce its takeover bid for Infigen last month after it took a 12.8% stake in the target company through an on-market raid. Following a preliminary analysis, Infigen termed the original $777 million bid from UAC as “opportunistic” and “highly conditional” and raised concerns about whether the offer was fully-funded. 

Two weeks later, Iberdrola made an $840.6 million bid for Infigen Energy, topping the UAC’s offer. The Bilbao-based utility made “the friendly takeover offer” in a bid to strengthen its presence in Australia. In January, Iberdrola announced its first project in the Asia-Pacific — a 320 MW hybrid solar and wind plant to be constructed near Port Augusta in South Australia in partnership with Ireland’s DP Energy.

The successful bidder will expand its Australian portfolio through Infigen’s 670 MW of wind generation assets, 268 MW of firming assets, including a 25MW/52MWh Tesla battery collocated with the Lake Bonney Wind Farm in SA, 246 MW of additional renewable capacity through offtake PPAs, and more than 1 GW strong development pipeline.