Genting, Sime Darby in bid for Aussie power plant

  • Business
  • Tuesday, 20 Jan 2004

Genting Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd are among bidders for a A$630mil stake in Yallourn Energy, an Australian power plant owned by CLP Holdings Ltd, people familiar with the transaction said. 

The other interested parties are said to be Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd and Westpac Banking Corp, Australia’s third and fourth biggest lenders.  

CLP, Hong Kong’s biggest electricity company, wants to cut its 92% stake in Yallourn to about 50% to raise funds for other Australian investments. 

Yallourn supplies about a quarter of the electricity used in Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state. The 1,450MW coal-fired plant was sold by the state government for A$2.43bil in 1996, and currently has A$1.1bil of debt. 

“Asian buyers are very keen,” said Sanjay Magotra, a utilities analyst at Citigroup Inc. “They see Australia as a relatively safe haven” in terms of the regulatory framework. 

Alan James, Citigroup’s head of investment banking in Australia and Genting’s adviser on the bid, did not return calls yesterday. A spokesman for ABN Amro Bank NV, which is advising Sime Darby, was not available for comment. And Genting and Sime Darby officials also declined to comment. – Bloomberg  

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