Australian backers to take over Windlab

Australian firm Windlab has accepted a takeover bid from compatriot investors Federal Asset Management and developer Squadron Wind Energy Development.

Alongside Eurus Energy, Windlab jointly owns the 61MW/4MWh first phase of the Kennedy Energy Park
Alongside Eurus Energy, Windlab jointly owns the 61MW/4MWh first phase of the Kennedy Energy Park

This story was first published on 20 January, following the initial takeover bid. It was updated on 4 March after the companies agreed to the takeover.

The consortium had made an offer of A$1 per share ($0.68/share) — a 38.9% increase on Windlab’s closing share price on 17 January, the trading day before the initial takeover bid — four months after agreeing to become the developer’s largest shareholder.

All three companies have now agreed this share price, and Windlab's board of directors has unanimously recommended that shareholders approve the bid, according to a statement the developer submitted to the Australian Stock Exchange.

However, the offer is half Windlab’s peak share value — in September 2017 — as the developer has faced construction delays with its flagship 1GW Kennedy hybrid project in Australia and legal disputes with the project's contractors. The project's co-owners Windlab and Eurus Energy Holdings have recorded a A$29 million loss on the project as a result of the delays.

Windlab’s stock rose to A$0.98 by midday on 4 March as it reported it had agreed to Federation and Squadron's proposed takeover, up 12% from its previous close.

Federation was previously Windlab's largest individual stake holder. When it agreed to acquire an 18.4% interest in Windlab in September 2019, the asset manager’s head of renewable energy Stephen Panizza said it planned to support the developer in completing its renewable projects.

Windlab has helped develop nearly 600MW of operational wind farms in Australia, Canada and South Africa.

It also has stakes in more than 2GW of hyrbid capacity in development, including the up-to 1GW Kennedy Energy Park in Queensland, Australia, and Africa's first wind-solar-storage project.

The takeover is now subject to a number of conditions, including approvals from Windlab's shareholders and courts, in accordance with Australia's Corporations Act.

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