Australia Says Chow Tai Fook’s Alinta Takeover Has Won Approvalby and
Strict conditions on power buyout: Treasurer’s spokeswoman
Conglomerate in March said to have agreed on A$4 billion deal
Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd., the Hong Kong conglomerate best known for its jewelry stores, has won Australian regulatory approval to acquire gas and electricity provider Alinta Energy Holdings Ltd.
The deal has been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board and is subject to strict conditions, a spokeswoman for Treasurer Scott Morrison said by phone Sunday, without elaborating on the details. Morrison decides on approvals for overseas investors on advice from the investment board.
Chow Tai Fook in March agreed to pay investors including buyout firm TPG Capital more than A$4 billion ($3 billion) for Alinta, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Alinta’s assets in Australia span nationwide energy retailing through power generation for industrial customers.
Calls to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises’ head office in Hong Kong went unanswered Sunday. Alinta Energy didn’t answer a phone call placed outside normal office hours. The approval was reported earlier by the Australian Financial Review, which didn’t say where it got the information.
The transaction follows in the path of Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd., which on Friday won approval for a A$7.4 billion takeover of Australian power provider Duet Group. Li-controlled companies already own stakes in Australian assets including SA Power Networks, Powercor Australia and Australian Gas Networks.
Australian utilities such as Alinta and Duet have attracted foreign interest because of steady cash flows from their gas and electricity assets. The country’s power companies are overseen by national and state regulators, which decide how much network operators can charge.