Infratil Pockets $1.4 Billion From Sale of Tilt Renewables Stake

New Zealand infrastructure investment company Infratil Ltd. expects gross proceeds of NZ$1.93 billion ($1.4 billion) from the sale of its 65% stake in windfarm owner Tilt Renewables.

Tilt agreed to a scheme of arrangement that will return NZ$7.80 a share to holders, the company said Monday in Wellington. The stock closed Friday at NZ$6.46.

Under the arrangement, Mercury NZ will buy Tilt’s New Zealand windfarms, after which Australia’s Powering Australian Renewable -- a partnership between AGL Energy and Queensland Investment Corp. -- will acquire the remainder of the business via a share offer. Mercury, which owns 19.9% of Tilt, said it will accept the offer.

The value of Infratil’s stake has almost doubled since it said on Dec. 7 it was reviewing its Tilt holding after receiving approaches. Tilt was trading at NZ$3.92 ahead of that announcement. Two days later, AustralianSuper made an unsolicited NZ$5.4 billion takeover bid for Infratil, which its board rejected, saying it materially undervalued its assets including Tilt.

”We are very pleased with the outcome of the strategic review, which involved an extensive outreach program to identify potential bidders around the world, followed by a highly competitive auction process run by Tilt,” incoming Infratil Chief Executive Officer Jason Boyes said in a statement. “We believe the price offered by PowAR and Mercury represents compelling value for Tilt and Infratil is pleased to support the transaction.”

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