AGL, Marubeni Said Among Final Bidders for Macquarie Plants

AGL Energy Ltd. (AGK), Marubeni Corp. (8002) and ERM Power Ltd. (EPW) made final bids for two state-owned power plants being sold in Australia that may fetch more than A$1.5 billion ($1.3 billion), said three people with knowledge of the matter.

The government of New South Wales state will study the offers for Macquarie Generation with adviser Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said the people, asking not to be identified as the details are private. China’s Shenhua Group Corp., which had studied a bid for the company’s two coal-fired power stations, dropped out of the process last year, a person familiar with the decision said in January.

Macquarie Generation’s Liddell and Bayswater plants account for about 26 percent of the state’s generation capacity, state Treasurer Mike Baird said in a July 30 statement. The government will use proceeds from the sale, which also includes two development sites, to finance other infrastructure, Baird said.

An external spokeswoman for the state government said three bids were received today, declining to provide more details. Spokesmen for ERM, AGL and Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Jonathon Moore of Statecraft Pty, a Sydney-based external spokesman for Shenhua, said he couldn’t immediately comment, as did a Tokyo-based spokesman for Marubeni, who asked not to be named in line with company policy.

ACCC Decision

AGL, based in Sydney, owns power generation assets in Victoria and South Australia states, operates renewable energy plants and runs a retail electricity business, according to its website. Rival EnergyAustralia Holdings Ltd., controlled by Hong Kong-based CLP Holdings Ltd., in July agreed to buy the Mount Piper and Wallerawang power stations from the New South Wales government. On July 1, Origin Energy Ltd. (ORG) agreed to buy power company Eraring Energy from the state.

Brisbane-based ERM Power, with a market value of A$594 million, is the fourth-largest supplier of energy to the national electricity market, according to its website. It has developed six gas-fired power stations and holds stakes in two plants in Queensland and Western Australia states. Last week the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it wouldn’t oppose ERM’s bid for Macquarie Generation.

The ACCC delayed a ruling on AGL’s bid for the plants until tomorrow, the regulator said today on its website. Reuters reported yesterday that AGL, ERM and Japan’s Marubeni were planning to make final offers.

In April, New South Wales sold operating leases to Port Botany and Port Kembla to a group including IFM Investors Pty and a unit of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for A$5.07 billion. The state also sold the right to lease the Sydney Desalination Plant to Hastings Funds Management Pty and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for A$2.3 billion in May 2012.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brett Foley in Melbourne at bfoley8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net

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