September 2, 2009 / 10:17 AM / 9 years ago

EcoSecurities co-founder confident of bid success

LONDON (Reuters) - Pedro Moura Costa, the co-founder and former president of EcoSecurities, is confident his improved offer for the clean energy project developer will be successful, and dismissed the idea of a bidding war.

“There are no other bids on the table. There is no bidding war,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview Tuesday.

“We have made a very aggressive and fair offer and the response has been overwhelmingly supportive of the bid,” he said, adding that around 25 percent of shareholders have now agreed to accept the bid.

Costa’s holding company Guanabara Tuesday increased its offer for EcoSecurities to 90 pence per share from 77 pence, and lowered the level of acceptances needed for the takeover to 50 percent from 80 percent.

“By lowering to 50 percent we achieve control sooner rather than later. This has been dragging on for long enough and we want to bring this process to a close,” Costa said.

Swedish developer Tricorona, which said in July it was considering a bid for EcoSecurities, declined to comment.

Ireland-based EcoSecurities develops projects under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a $33 billion trading scheme which allows firms to offset their greenhouse gases emissions via investment in green infrastructure in emerging nations like China and India.

Should his bid for EcoSecurities be successful, Costa plans to streamline the company he co-founded, and ensure it is equipped to face changes in the market’s regulatory framework.

“The sector is continuously changing. It presents and removes opportunities very rapidly,” he said.

“For a company to lead in this space, as EcoSecurities used to, it has to be fast, dynamic and has to value the principles of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Several factors cloud the CDM’s future, and therefore the future of EcoSecurities, including the fate of a U.S. climate bill currently incubating in the Senate and the outcome of United Nations climate talks later this year.

Thousands of climate delegates will meet in Copenhagen in December to hammer out a successor treaty to the Kyoto pact before its first phase expires in 2012.

“The UN process is historically very convoluted and long-winded (so) it’s unlikely the final agreement will be reached at Copenhagen, as usually these agreements only happen at the eleventh hour,” Costa said.

“We expect uncertainty for at least another year.”

Costa said there is also much uncertainty surrounding the U.S. bill and it remains to be seen if it will pass through the Senate in its original version.

“We’re waiting for definitions of post-2012 and of the American (climate) programs. Once those are in place, no doubt opportunities will arise for long-term investments,” Costa said, adding that the regulatory landscape is likely to be different to that in Kyoto’s first phase.

If his bid for EcoSecurities fails, Costa, who has been involved in the sector for nearly 20 years, said he will help Guanabara to establish a presence in the environmental finance and greenhouse gas mitigation market. EcoSecurities’ shares were unchanged at 88.5p Wednesday.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Michael Szabo; Editing by Rupert Winchester

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