SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO) has proposed buying out Renova Energia SA’s controlling bloc as part of a sweetened bid to take over the debt-laden Brazilian renewable energy firm, two people with knowledge of the deal said on Friday.
Under terms of a bid originally submitted on Monday, Brookfield would buy out the stake that Light SA (LIGT3.SA) has in Renova at an equivalent of 9 reais per unit. The same offer was extended to stakeholder Cia Energética de Minas Gerais SA (CMIG4.SA) and founding partner RR Participações SA, the people said.
Canada’s Brookfield, which has made a number of high-profile infrastructure and energy acquisitions in Brazil over the past year, would pay Renova’s controlling bloc about 810 million reais ($247 million) for their stakes and pump about 800 million reais worth of fresh capital into the company, the same person said.
Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based Cemig and Light declined to comment, while calls to a Brookfield spokesman in São Paulo were not immediately answered. Representatives of RR could not be immediately reached for comment.
Renova units (RNEW11.SA), the company’s most widely traded class of stock, reversed losses on the news, adding up to 2.7 percent to 7.88 reais late Friday afternoon. The stock has gained almost 30 percent since January 2 when Reuters first reported that the company could be taken over.
Newfound interest in Renova underscores a view among foreign investors that the outlook for Brazil’s renewable power industry remains resilient even as consumption suffers with the country’s worst recession ever. For Cemig, exiting Renova allows Brazil’s No. 3 power utility to accelerate efforts to refinance almost 5 billion reais of debt maturing this year.
Board members at the utility known as Cemig, which has a 44 percent voting stake in Renova, will formalize their support to the improved Brookfield bid on Wednesday, one of the people said. An accord between Cemig, Light, RR and Brookfield could be signed as early as July 14, the same person added.
Buying out the entire controlling bloc would give Brookfield an 82.2 percent voting stake in Renova. One of the people said Brookfield’s sweetened bid should trump a proposal by Oaktree Capital Management LP to refinance debt and inject fresh capital into Renova, which Reuters reported on July 5.
At 9 reais, Brookfield would be paying a 28 percent premium per unit of Renova (RNEW11.SA), based on their June 30 close - the last business day before Reuters reported the bid. Each Renova unit is comprised of one common and two preferred shares.
Brookfield’s bid would also give equal treatment to minority shareholders, the people said. The so-called tag along will be based on the proportion of common and preferred shares contained in Renova’s units, they added.
Renova has struggled with a severe cash crunch over the past couple of years. Financing conditions for Renova, which was founded in 2001, worsened significantly when a partnership with SunEdison Inc (SUNEQ.PK) collapsed weeks before the latter filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States.
($1 = 3.2824 reais)
Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Luciano Costa; Editing by Andrew Hay