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Kenetech's stalking horse

Genteel squabbling over Kenetech Windpower's Altamont Pass assets was the order of the day at the company's most recent bankruptcy hearing in Oakland, California. Representatives for Kenetech Windpower, which sought Chapter 11 protection 14 months ago in federal court, formally recommended selling its Altamont Pass assets to Energy Unlimited (EUI) for "about $30 million." The company is an acknowledged "stalking horse" to bring other potential bids out of the woodwork, Kenetech officials told the court hearing on June 21. If Kenetech's procedure is adopted by Judge Leslie Tchaikovsky, a second bid would have to be at least $3 million higher to "out-bid" that of EUI, and that in turn would have to be bested by at least $2 million to be pushed aside. But at the hearing, ESI Energy Inc, a subsidiary of Florida Power and Light, said it has sent a letter to Kenetech proposing a sale price of $31 million for the three Altamont Pass wind plants, which have a total of 1476 of the 56-100 turbines and 41 of Kenetech's 33 MVS units. The judge told the court that she is tending towards accepting Kenetech's proposal, largely because the creditors' committee is backing it too. If EUI's bid is not the winner, EUI receives $1.5 million in fees and expenses for its "stalking horse" role.

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