The biggest trade was late on Friday night, when Jarden’s equities desk crossed 86.5 million shares or 6.2 percent of Genex’s issued equity. Alarmingly, it was at 23¢ a share or a 70 percent premium to the Friday close.
Skip Capital’s understood to have been the buyer, working in conjunction with its private equity backer. Skip already had an 11.2 percent stake to be Genex Power’s biggest shareholder, prior to last week’s trades.
Genex Power owns the flagship Kidston Clean Energy Hub in North Queensland, which involves solar (operating), pumped hydro (under construction) and wind (development) generation, and other solar and battery storage assets in NSW and central Queensland.
The company listed in July 2015 and counts Japan’s J-Power as an anchor investor.
The takeover interest comes after bids for fellow listed renewable energy plays Infigen Energy and Tilt Renewables, both picked off the ASX-boards in the past two years, and a wave of private M&A deal.
A bid at 23¢, in line with Friday night’s buying, would value Genex’s equity at about $320 million. Genex Power also had borrowings worth $260 million at December 31, including senior bank debt and funds from Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
The questions for Genex Power would be whether to grant its suitor due diligence, and whether there may be a strategic player willing to take on a consortium with a 19.9 percent pre-bid stake.
For Skip Capital, the Farquhar/Jackson family office, it’s the second time it’s been spotted in an attempted public company buyout. The last time was when it teamed up with Washington H Soul Pattinson for a tilt at aged care operator Regis Healthcare in late 2020.