TEAM

Japan's J-Power makes $249m bid for Australian renewables firm Genex

By Scott Murdoch

March 4 (Reuters) - Japan's Electric Power Development 9513.T on Monday lodged a A$380.9 million ($248.69 million) bid for Australian renewable energy firm Genex Power GNX.AX, as Japan's appetite for overseas acquisitions rapidly grows.

Genex shares surged as much nearly 38% in early trade Monday to $A0.255, a more than three-year high. The broader S&P/ASX200 .AXJO was up 0.2%.

The A$0.275 per share offer represents a 48.6% premium on its last close from Friday.

The Japanese firm, which owns a 7.7% stake in Genex, had previously made an offer to buy the company at a price of A$0.240 per share, Genex revealed in a regulatory filing on Monday.

An independent committee of the board of directors of Genex had determined the earlier offer undervalued the Australian firm.

Genex said the committee has unanimously determined the new offer is in the best interests of its shareholders.

Outbound Japanese buyout activity has made its strongest start to the year so far in 2024 for six years, according to LSEG data.

J-Power is a joint owner and developer of Genex's Kidston wind project and Bulli Creek clean energy project, which are both in the Australian state of Queensland.

The new takeover bid requires 75% support from Genex shareholders and approval from Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

If that level of support is not reached, J-Power said it would launch an off market takeover at A$0.27 per share which would need at least 50.1% of shareholder backing to go ahead.

Genex's major shareholder is Atlassian TEAM.O co-founder Scott Farquhar's Skip Capital, which holds 19.99% of the renewables firm.

Farquhar in 2022 led a consortium that made an indicative bid for Genex at A$0.25 per share before walking away from the deal.

Farquhar and Skip Capital did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

($1 = 1.5316 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney; additional reporting Lewis Jackson in Sydney and Aaditya Govind Rao in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Sam Holmes.)

((Aaditya.GovindRao@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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