Australian renewables firm Infigen Energy agrees $569 million sale to Iberdrola

Spain’s Iberdrola has had an US$569 million bid for Australian wind and solar firm Infigen Energy accepted, as it looks to further grow its market share in Australia’s renewable energy sector.

The Bilbao-based utility is already building a 320MW renewable energy project in South Australia, and will add Infigen’s seven wind farms and a large pipeline of projects to its portfolio after trumping an earlier bid from Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp.

After accepting Iberdrola’s offer, Infigen urged shareholders to reject an earlier bid from UAC Energy – a joint venture of Ayala’s AC Energy and Hong Kong-based UPC Renewables Group – as the Spanish bid was 7.5% higher with fewer conditions.

Infigen said its top shareholder – UK activist investor TCI Fund Management – has agreed to sell 20% of Infigen securities, most of its holding, to Iberdrola, if no higher bid emerges.

UAC and Iberdrola moved quickly on Infigen after its share price receded due to falling power prices in Australia and challenges facing wind and solar firms connecting projects to an unreliable grid.

Iberdrola is looking to invest a record $11 billion this year through acquisitions and wind farm projects, including in France and the United States.

“The acquisition of Infigen is a unique opportunity for the Iberdrola group to consolidate its presence in the attractive Australian renewable energy market through a friendly transaction,” Iberdrola said in a statement.