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Western Wind Surges After Brookfield Buys Minority Stake

Western Wind Energy Corp., a Canadian energy developer, surged to its highest level in four years after Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP acquired 16.2 percent of its common shares, becoming its second-largest shareholder.

Western Wind rose 10 percent to C$2.30 at the close in Toronto, the highest since August 2008.

Brookfield, a developer and operator of wind and hydroelectric projects in Canada, the U.S. and Brazil, bought 10.7 million shares in Western Wind for C2.25 ($2.28) each, according to a statement today. It also acquired 319,700 warrants, representing 0.5 percent of Western Western Wind’s shares, if exercised, for C$1 each.

Owning a portion of Western Wind gives Brookfield a share of its tax credits that the developer may apply to its U.S. bill, according to James Morrison, an analyst with Cormark Securities Inc. in Toronto.

“Brookfield has significant U.S. taxable income,” he said in an interview today. “They’re a good fit.”

Western Wind has risen 93 percent since it said July 30 that it was for sale. Its board said at the time it expected a sale price between the C$2.50 offered in a takeover bid last year and the more than C$5 value consultants gave to the company. Goodman & Co. Investment Counsel Ltd owns 17.5 percent of its shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

It owns and operates three wind projects in California with a total of 154.5 megawatts of capacity and a 10.5-megawatt combined wind-and-solar plant in Arizona and is developing a project in Puerto Rico.

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