Iberdrola made a A$828m ($571m) offer for Infigen Energy – one of Australia’s largest renewables developers – that trumped an earlier offer for the company and puts the Spanish group on pole for its first major acquisition in Asia.
Iberdrola’s A$0.86 per share offer for Infigen beat the A$0.80 tabled by UAC Energy Holdings earlier in June and was unanimously backed by the company’s board, which said it had been talking to the Bilbao-based global renewables giant anyway.
“The offer from Iberdrola follows an extended period of engagement with Infigen regarding potential cooperation or a control transaction,” said a statement as the board recommended shareholders accept it.
Infigen operates about 700MW of wind power as well as battery storage assets and gas-fired capacity, plus a 600MW pipeline.
It remains to be seen whether UAC, majority-owned by Philippines conglomerate Ayala, or another player will come back with an even higher offer to further stoke a bidding war.
Infigen’s shares closed 7% higher at $0.88, above Iberdrola’s offer price, which analysts said suggests a further move is possible.
The Australian market has been cited as attractive by a number of global operators – Iberdrola, in late 2019 chose the country for its Asian debut when it unveiled plans for a 320MW wind-solar hybrid project there.
Iberdrola director of renewable energy Xabier Viteri said then: “Renewable energy has increased its market share considerably in Australia in recent years. There’s tremendous potential for further growth.”
Iberdrola has said it will invest to back its global ambitions, with acquisitions in France and early moves to build an offshore wind portfolio in Poland among recent examples.