TransAlta cleared to pursue takeover of Canadian Hydro

TransAlta Corp said on Aug. 17, 2009, that Canadian competition regulators have decided not to interfere with its hostile, C$654 million (US$590 million) offer for Canadian Hydro Developers Inc, made in July 2009.

TransAlta, which is looking to buy Canadian Hydro’s portfolio of wind and hydroelectric generation to bulk up its renewable power assets, also said security regulators have scheduled a hearing to consider TransAlta’s request to block its target’s shareholder rights plan.

TransAlta, which produces most of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, is offering C$4.55 (US$4.13) a share for Canadian Hydro, the largest investor-owned operator of renewable energy generation facilities in Canada.

Canadian Hydro has rejected the bid, saying that it is looking for a higher, rival offer. (HydroWorld 7/23/09)
TransAlta said in a release that it has received an Advance Ruling Certificate from the Competition Bureau, assuring that it can complete an acquisition of Canadian Hydro and not face a review under the Competition Act.

The Alberta Securities Commission will hold a hearing next week on TransAlta’s move to block Canadian Hydro’s poison pill. Such plans, if used, can flood the market with new shares, making a hostile offer prohibitively expensive.

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