Loy Yang bid may go north

Malaysia's Genting Bhd - a casino and hotel operator - may link up with the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) - a money manager overseeing more than US$57 billion of Singapore's assets - to bid for the Australian Loy Yang A power station.

The casino and hotel operator had been seeking to diversify into the power market and was looking to snare the power station should Australian Gas Light Co.'s US$2.2 billion bid for Loy Yang be blocked by Australia's competition regulator.

Genting had been forced to look for a new co-bidder when its original partner Sime Darby Bhd pulled out of the deal. GIC's participation is believed to be able to add credibility to the bid whilst being able to provide financial and professional resources.

Loy Yang A, which is owned by the US CMS Energy Corp and the bankrupt NRG Energy Inc are reversing more than a decade of offshore expansion by selling assets to pay off debts. The station generates more than a quarter of the electricity used in Victoria.

GIC and Genting representatives declined to comment on the possible joint bid. Sime Darby spokesperson Rafidah Megat Khas also declined to comment on the reasons behind the pullout.