Western Wind Hires RBC, Forms Committee After Takeover Offer

Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Western Wind Energy Corp., a Canadian producer of renewable energy targeted for a takeover, said it hired bankers and formed a board committee to help it evaluate offers.

The Vancouver-based company asked RBC Capital Markets and PI Financial Corp. to advise its panel on the offers. McMillan LLP will provide legal advice, the company said in a statement last night.

Western Wind is looking for new investors to purchase the shares of existing shareholders who have expressed interest in selling their stakes to Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp., Western Wind Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Ciachurski said.

“We would find investors that would not be hostile to the company that would take those blocks out,” he said in a telephone interview. The shares would be purchased for a price “competitive” with the C$2.50 ($2.45) per share offered by Algonquin, Ciachurski said.

Ciachurski said the company is talking with investors. He declined to identify them.

Western Wind said Oct. 11 that Algonquin Power made an unsolicited offer of C$2.50 a share to buy the company. The bid undervalued the company by at least half, Ciachurski said.

Algonquin submitted a “non-binding expression of interest to engage in discussions with Western Wind,” Kelly Castledine, an Algonquin spokeswoman, wrote in an e-mail on Oct. 12. The company, based in Oakville, Ontario, said Western Wind should “initiate an appropriate process to provide access for any interested party to perform a due diligence review.”

Castledine did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zachary Tracer in New York at ztracer1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net