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Picture: REUTERS/BOB STRONG
Picture: REUTERS/BOB STRONG

Stockholm/London — Private equity firm EQT said on Monday it had made a recommended cash offer to buy Swedish renewable energy group OX2 for 16.4-billion kronor ($1.51bn). 

EQT is offering 60 kronor per share for the developer of wind and solar energy projects, 43% above OX2’s closing price on Friday.

It said OX2’s main owner Peas Industries, which holds 46% of shares and votes, had undertaken to accept the offer, and that an OX2 independent bid committee unanimously recommended that shareholders accept it.

EQT said the renewables industry had strong underlying trends and was expected to grow significantly, although higher interest rates, long development timelines and supply chain disruptions have put pressure on OX2.

“OX2 would benefit from evolving its business model from a pure developer to an integrated renewables developer and asset owner, while retaining its ability to sell projects,” it said.

“EQT is well-suited to partner with the company during this next phase, offering the necessary capital and deep industry expertise to accelerate its growth journey,” it added.

EQT expected “substantial growth” in the renewables industry as permitting timelines for projects were getting shorter across Europe and the supply chain issues that caused market disruptions were easing.

“We think the market opportunities are there,” said Christoph Balzer, partner at EQT, in a telephone interview.

The offer is subject to regulatory approval and conditional upon being accepted by owners of more than 50% of the shares in OX2. EQT said its ambition is to obtain 90% ownership and delist the company.

EQT is not planning to merge OX2 with other renewable businesses it owns in Europe.

“We have very established solar platforms in the US and Europe but we are not planning to put it together,” Balzer added.

OX2’s shares were up 42% in early trading on Monday. EQT’s shares were broadly unchanged.

Reuters

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