SunEdison, Vivint Surge as Judge Clears Path for Acquisitionby
Delaware judge's decision means $1.9 billion deal can proceed
TerraForm agreed to buy $799 million of Vivint solar assets
SunEdison Inc., the world’s biggest clean-energy developer, rallied the most in 14 years after a judge in Delaware rejected a plea to block a portion of its $1.9 billion acquisition of Vivint Solar Inc.
SunEdison gained 35 percent to $2.32 at 10:09 a.m. in New York, after earlier surging as much as 61 percent, the most intraday since October 2001. Vivint rose as much as 38 percent, the biggest gain since the acquisition was announced in July.
The news dragged down shares of TerraForm Power Inc., the yieldco unit formed by SunEdison to buy and operate power plants. As part of the complicated deal, TerraForm has agreed to pay $799 million to acquire some of Vivint’s assets. That’s the component of the transaction that was contested in the Delaware case. TerraForm slipped as much as 6.7 percent.
The ruling will let SunEdison move forward with the Vivint deal, a transaction that’s been under scrutiny from shareholders and investors. SunEdison shares have plunged more than 90 percent since announcing plans to buy Vivint and expand into the residential solar market. The terms were renegotiated in December and SunEdison has said it wants to close the deal this quarter.
“This should clear the way for SunEdison to acquire Vivint and potentially place the operating assets at TerraForm Power instead of holding the assets on their balance sheet,” Patrick Jobin, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG said in a research note. “This should relieve some artificial pressure to sell the Vivint operating portfolio as a distressed seller.”
SunEdison, based in Maryland Heights, Missouri, spent billions last year acquiring developers and power projects around the world. Now it’s spending more to convert in-progress wind and solar farms into electricity-generating assets that can either be sold off or retained for their long-term revenue streams.