Renewable energy company Windlab (ASX: WND) has entered into a binding agreement to be acquired by a consortium comprising of Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s Squadron Wind Energy Development Pty Ltd and an existing Windlab shareholder.
Squadron and Wind Acquisition 1 Pty Ltd will join forces to acquire 100% of Windlab’s outstanding ordinary shares by way of a scheme of arrangement.
Wind Acquisition 1 is an investment vehicle of funds managed by Federation Asset Management Holdings, which currently holds an 18.7% interest in Windlab and last month launched a $68 million takeover bid for the company.
Squadron is an Australian-based energy and natural resources exploration and development company privately owned by Mr Forrest’s Minderoo Group.
Under the scheme announced today, Windlab shareholders are set to receive a cash consideration of $1.00 per Windlab share, representing a 30% premium to the six-month volume weighted average price of $0.77 per share.
Windlab’s board has “unanimously recommended” that shareholders vote in favour of the takeover in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert’s report.
The directors have confirmed they will vote all Windlab shares held or controlled by them in favour of the deal.
Lead independent director and chairman of the independent board committee Charles Macek said Federation had been a supportive shareholder and shares Windlab’s vision.
“The consortium shares [our] vision of harnessing the significant opportunity for wind energy across Australia and across south and eastern Africa,” he said.
“In the discussions to date, we have been impressed by the consortium’s grasp of Windlab’s assets and development portfolio and our strategic potential.”
Mr Macek said the company was “excited about accelerating our development activities” and continuing to identify new project opportunities using its proprietary Windscape technology.
Federation’s head of renewable energy Stephen Panizza echoed Mr Macek’s sentiments, adding that the consortium would bring renewables experience and investment capital to the table.
“Windlab is a natural fit for Federation and our investment partners,” he said.
“We believe [the company] is the clear leader among Australian wind energy developers, with great management, unique [intellectual property] and a portfolio comprising some of the best wind projects in the national electricity market.”
The scheme of arrangement is subject to shareholder and court approval.
It is expected to be finalised by mid-year.