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Brookfield Renewable wins control of Western Wind Energy

The sun rises behind windmills at a wind farm in Palm Springs, California, Feb. 9, 2011.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The protracted and hostile battle for Western Wind Energy Corp. appears to have been settled finally, with Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners L.P. winning control of the small Vancouver-based renewable power firm.

Brookfield said late Thursday that it now owns about two-thirds of Western Wind stock, after 59.7 per cent of the of the non-Brookfield shareholders tendered to its it's $2.60 per share takeover offer. The shares will cost Brookfield Renewable about $92-million.

"We are very pleased with the successful outcome of our bid and look forward to incorporating these complementary energy assets into our renewable power portfolio," Brookfield Renewable CEO Richard Legault said in a statement.

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Brookfield Renewable has extended its offer to March 7, to allow more Western Wind shareholders to tender to the offer. If it gets 90 per cent of the shares, it will be able to force the rest of the stock to be handed over.

Western Wind's executives had vociferously opposed the Brookfield Renewable takeover, saying there were other parties interested in buying the company, and they expected to get a higher price than what Brookfield was offering.

In January, Western Wind asked the Ontario Securities Commission to force Brookfield to get a formal valuation of the company before proceeding with its bid. The OSC said that was not necessary.

Western Wind owns operating wind farms in California and Arizona, and has planned projects in those states and Puerto Rico.

Brookfield Renewable has a large portfolio of hydro and wind power plants in Canada, the United States and Brazil. The Western Wind assets will increase Brookfield's wind power capacity in California by about 56 per sent, Mr. Legault said.

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About the Author
Reporter, Report on Business

Richard Blackwell has reported on Canadian business for more than three decades. At the Financial Post and the Globe and Mail he has covered technology, transportation, investing, banking, securities and media, among many other subjects. Currently, his focus is on green technology and the economy. More

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