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Australia

Knock-on effects from Babcock & Brown collapse

The collapse of Australian investment company Babcock & Brown (B&B) is having knock-on effects in New Zealand after an offer by New Zealand developer NZ Windfarms to acquire a B&B subsidiary's stake in the Te Rere Hau wind farm was criticised as too generous, considering the turmoil at B&B (page 44). NZ Windfarms holds a half stake in the wind farm, which its associated company, Windflow, is equipping with locally made 500 kW turbines. So far, 14 Windflow turbines are installed at the site, which is to eventually house a 48.5 MW wind farm. The remaining half of the wind project is jointly owned by Babcock & Brown WindPower and NP Power Pty, a subsidiary of Australian renewables developer National Power Partners. NZ Windfarms offered NZ$20.1 million from cash reserves to buy the partners out through its wholly-owned subsidiary, NZWL-TRH, drawing objections from Wanaka-based institutional investor Logic Fund Management's Gregory Marshall. He says the offer is too high relative to the company's estimated market capitalisation of NZ$54 million. The purchase was conditional on either gaining shareholder approval or a waiver of approval from the New Zealand Stock Exchange. The exchange granted a waiver.

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