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Morgan Stanley infrastructure fund tables PNE takeover bid

Shares in German renewables developer surge above offer price in early morning trading on acquisition talk

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners (MSIP) has announced its intention to buy German renewables developer PNE in a voluntary cash takeover at a price of €4.00 ($4.40) per share.

The bid, made via the banking giant's Photon Management unit, represents a premium of 31% to the closing price of PNE on 26 August, when PNE had confirmed it is in talks with MSIP over a possible acquistion.

Shares in the Cuxhaven-based developer surged 4.52% to €4.045 per share in early morning trading in Frankfurt, hugely outperforming the DAX index that shed 0.1%. It ended the day at €4.02.

The value of the planned offer to all shareholders implies a total equity and enterprise value of approximately €360m for PNE.

“We can provide significant additional know-how and financial backing to accelerate PNE’s strategic growth,” said Christoph Oppenauer, executive director at MSIP.

“We will be working with management to continue building a sustainable and competitive renewable energy platform, which will contribute towards achieving the renewable energy build-out targets of governments in PNE’s core markets.”

Developer PNE surges on take-over interest by Morgan Stanley fund

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Financial investors such as investment or pension funds in recent years have stepped up their participation in renewable energy companies as green energy is becoming more mainstream, while at the same time divesting from fossil-based energy firms.

Completion of the offer will be subject to a minimum acceptance ratio of 50% plus one share, as well as antitrust and foreign investment control approvals. As soon as MSIP buys a stake of more than 50% in PNE, it will delist the company. The US financial group already has entered a purchase agreement to acquire 11% of PNE’s total share capital from the developer’s largest investor.

PNE’s core portfolio is in Germany and France. The company recently expanded its business activities in Poland, Sweden, and the US, and has recently entered the market in Panama.

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