Pac Hydro says, �Hasta la vista, Acciona�

IT looks as if Pacific Hydro will remain in Australian hands. The renewable company’s independent directors are recommending shareholders reject Spanish corporation Acciona’s offer of $4.90 per share, which is 10 cents lower than the $5.00 cash per share offer made by Australian group, Industry Funds Management (IFM).
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Acciona SA released its bidder’s statement in respect of its offer of $4.90 for each Pacific Hydro share to the ASX yesterday.

“The independent directors of Pacific Hydro do not consider Acciona’s offer to be a superior proposal to IFM’s offer and therefore recommend that shareholders reject Acciona’s offer,” Pac Hydro said in a statement.

“Shareholders should take no action in relation to Acciona’s bidder’s statement which Acciona intends to despatch by mail later this week.”

Pacific Hydro despatched its target’s statement in respect of IFM’s $5.00 cash per share this morning. The company’s independent directors – all directors other than those nominated by IFM – recommend that shareholders accept IFM’s offer, in the absence of a superior proposal.

But Acciona could still be in the hunt for Pacific Hydro. In lodging its bidder's statement, despite its offer being trumped by IFM, the Spanish group has kept its offer live. This gives it the flexibility to approach institutions to try to lock in more Pacific Hydro shares before possibly raising its offer.

So far, Acciona has rights to American Electric Power's 16% stake in Pac Hydro, but it could not have gone above 19.9% without having a bid on the table.

But the move could also be the last step in Acciona grab for the renewables company. Issuing a bidder's statement was a precondition for acquiring AEP's stake, and it is hard to see who else will sell to Acciona when IFM is offering a higher price.

It is also uncertain whether Acciona would want to acquire AEP's stake, then hold these shares without acquiring more, remaining nothing more than a shareholder in an IFM-controlled company.

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