By Paul McBeth
Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - Tilt Renewables is in a trading halt pending an announcement on support arrangements for its planned A$600 million, 80-turbine wind farm in Victoria.
The renewable energy company carved out of Trustpower sought the halt late yesterday due to "upcoming developments" in respect of the previously disclosed potential 15-year support agreement for a portion of the electricity to be produced by the firm's proposed Dundonnell wind farm, it said in a statement.
The halt will remain in place until the announcement or when the market opens on Wednesday. The shares last traded at $2.31.
Tilt applied for a portion of the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (VREAS) which sought suppliers for 650 megawatts of new capacity. It hopes to secure a 15-year contract and if successful will start building the 336 MW farm later this year.
The company has a fully committed debt package from National Australia Bank and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ to cover half the construction cost and expects to raise the other A$300 million through new equity.
Infratil and Mercury NZ had previously committed to meet their 77 per cent share of any equity raising. They are now seeking to take over Tilt, pooling their stakes into a new entity and offering $208.5 million, or $2.30 a share, to minority shareholders. Tilt's independent directors last week recommended investors reject the bid as being too low and not recognising the firm's pipeline of future projects. Infratil insists it's a fair and reasonable deal.