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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