Western Wind Gains on Increased Offer From Brookfield

Western Wind Energy Corp., the renewable-power developer that put itself up for sale in July, rose the most in two months after Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP increased its bid for the company.

Western Wind gained 5.5 percent to close at C$2.51 in Toronto, the most since Nov. 26, when Brookfield initially offered to buy the company for C$2.50 a share.

Brookfield increased its offer for Vancouver-based Western Wind to C$2.60, calling it the “best and final offer,” according to a statement today. That values the renewable-energy developer at about C$183.3 million ($182 million), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company said it “has support from approximately 44 percent of the common shares required for the minimum tender,” according to the statement.

Western Wind said in a statement today that the 44 percent figure cited by Brookfield “was meant to confuse.” Brookfield has 44 percent of the required 50 percent “other than itself,” or just 22 percent of shares, Lawrence Casse, a spokesman for Western Wind, said on the phone today.

Brookfield said last week it wouldn’t go any higher after Western Wind’s board recommended that shareholders reject the C$2.50 price. Brookfield already owns about 11.3 million Western Wind shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Western Wind Chief Executive Officer Jeff Ciachurski will earn a C$2 million bonus if he can sell the company for at least C$3 a share.

Western Wind asked the Ontario Securities Commission yesterday to require that Brookfield disclose the results of a valuation study. Brookfield said the move was “part of Western Wind’s continuing strategy to frustrate the offer and prevent the sale,” according to today’s statement.

Western Wind operates wind farms in California and a combined wind-and-solar plant in Arizona.

(Updates with comment from Western Wind in fourth paragraph.)
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