Genex Power board warms to Farquhar’s increased $346m takeover bid

Genex Power board warms to Farquhar’s increased $346m takeover bid

Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar has sweetened the pot for shareholders in alternative power group Genex Power (ASX: GNX) with a revised $346 million bid that has prompted the board to open its books and all but recommend the offer to shareholders.

Farquhar’s Skip Investments earlier this month joined US private equity group Stonepeak Partners to launch the takeover of Genex Power with an offer of 23c per share that valued the company at $320 million.

The offer was rejected by the Genex board which at the time was only willing to give the predators limited access to conduct due diligence.

Now that the consortium has lifted the asking price to 25c a share, Genex is prepared to allow the bidders full access for ‘confirmatory due diligence’ that could lead to a binding proposal for the company.

“After careful consideration of the revised indicative proposal (including consultation with Genex’s advisers), the board considers that it is in the interests of Genex shareholders as a whole to engage further with the consortium,” the Genex board says in a statement.

Genex, a Sydney-based company that listed on the ASX in 2015, has three power projects under way including its flagship Kidston Clean Energy Hub where it is transforming the former Kidston gold mine in north-west Queensland into a solar, wind and hydro power generating facility.

The company’s Bouldercombe battery project has secured contracts with Elon Musk's Tesla to create a large-scale 50-megawatt battery storage system near Rockhampton. Genex also operates the Jemalong Solar Project at Forbes in central western NSW, currently producing 50 megawatts of power.

Skip Investments, a private investment fund led by billionaire couple Farquhar and his wife Kim Jackson, already had a 19.9 per cent stake in Genex prior to teaming up with US-based Stonepeak Partners to propose the takeover offer.

The takeover bid aligns with Farquhar’s growing interest in renewable energy investments over the past couple of years.

Genex says the due diligence process has been provided to the consortium on a non-exclusive basis, and if this leads to a binding offer of 25c a share, the board will recommend that shareholders accept it should a higher bid not eventuate.

Genex notes that there is no certainty that the due diligence process will result in the consortium making a firm offer.

The market appears to agree, with Genex shares failing to reach the offer price by late in the afternoon despite jumping past the original 23c bid.

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