Tilt bags takeover offer as ‘inadequate’ compared to current share price
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The board of wind power player Tilt Renewables is attempting to wring some more money out of its two biggest shareholders, after they teamed up to take it out.
In August, kiwi power companies Infratil and Mercury NZ made a $720 million offer for Tilt (ASX:TLT).
But on Tuesday the board said “no deal”, calling the $2.30 a share offer “inadequate and not fair”.
While the offer was a 31 premium to the share price when it was lobbed, now it’s only an 8 per cent premium because the stock has rallied following the initial bid.
“The premium of 8 per cent on recent trading does not recognise the strategic value of this company,” said Fiona Oliver, chair of the independent director committee.
“This is a very strong company in the renewables energy space, with excellent prospects. The $2.30 offer is simply too low.”
She said they would be sending out a statement clarifying that position in two weeks.
But together Mercury and Infratil control 78 per cent of the company, and as of Tuesday they have approval for the deal from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.
Infratil says they are only waiting on waivers from parties with material contracts with Tilt, and will start paying out investors who accept the offer from seven days after that.
Take them out
New Zealand energy provider Mercury NZ bought its first stake of 62.6 million shares from the Tauranga Electricity Consumer Trust in May, and said it wanted to buy up to 26.8 per cent.
But 51 per cent Tilt shareholder Infratil said it was “unlikely to provide approval” for any other shareholder to move above the 19.9 per cent threshold.
Mercury now controls the remainder of the Tauranga Electricity Consumer Trust shares.
Ms Oliver said a pipeline of projects, such as the prize 336MW Dundonnell Wind Farm, which is still in planning phase, weren’t recognised by the offer.
Hinting at why the two companies agreed to partner in the takeover, Infratil said in a statement in August that Tilt had been intending to fund the Dundonnell project through a debt and equity raising, “representing approximately 45 per cent of Tilt Renewables’ current equity value”.
Stockhead is seeking comment from Tilt.
Tilt closed at $2.08, 10 per cent below the offer price.