Novera Accepts Offer From Terra Firma-Backed Infinis

LONDON (Reuters) – British renewable energy company Novera (NOEN.L) has accepted an improved takeover bid from private equity-backed Infinis Energy, bringing to an end an takeover battle that dates back more than 18 months.

Infinis further increased its offer to 77 pence per share, after buying a 3.5 percent stake from a shareholder at that price on Friday and taking its shareholding to above the 50 percent threshold required for its bid to become unconditional.

The offer values Novera at about 112 million pounds ($184 million) and represents a 76 percent premium to Novera’s share price on the day before Infinis made its initial 62.5 pence per share bid.

It is still below the 90 pence per share price at which Terra Firma-backed Infinis had tried to take over Novera last year.

Novera, which owns landfill gas sites, hydro power stations and two operational wind farms, had repeatedly rejected the 62.5 pence bid and also rejected an offer earlier this week of 75 pence per share. [ID:nBNG532097] Novera’s board said on Friday that it considered the revised offer to be fair and reasonable and recommended shareholders accept the offer.

Shareholder Harrier Acquisitions, a 3i Infrastructure Fund (3IN.L) vehicle which also tried to take over Novera last year and holds an 8.6 percent stake, has also undertaken to accept the final offer.

Harrier was among a group of shareholders which publicly said they would not back a bid at 62.5 pence per share. [ID:nL149802]

In total, Infinis said it has received irrevocable undertakings from directors and shareholders representing 18 percent of Novera, taking its holding to about 68 percent.

Novera’s shares were up 1.3 percent at the final offer price of 77 pence by 1630 GMT.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; editing by Karen Foster)