Brookfield Renewables bids for Western Wind

CANADA: Canadian developer and operator Brookfield Renewable Energy has launched a takeover bid for Western Wind Energy, which operates around 160MW wind projects in California and Arizona.

Brookfield already owns a 16.2% stake in Vancouver-based Western Wind. Western Wind announced in July that its board and management had decided to sell the entire company and all its assets, and was in the midst of an auction process involving several potential bidders.

Jeff Ciachurski, Western Wind’s CEO, says Brookfield’s offer is disruptive to that process and urged shareholders not to react to the offer until the company has had a chance to evaluate it.

Brookfield, which has 5.3GW of mostly hydroelectric generating capacity and has targeted California as a growth market for wind, says its offer is "a significant premium" to Western Wind's closing prices prior to the announcements of its sale process and Brookfield Renewable's initial investment in Western Wind in August. Western Wind closed trading Friday at C$2.43 a share.