Renewable Energy Generation Shares Jump on Approach

LONDON (Reuters) – Wind farm operator Renewable Energy Generation (RERWE.L) has received a bid approach from an unnamed party, it said on Friday, sending its shares up by nearly 50 percent.

The operator of 11 wind farms in the UK and Canada, and which runs a power station fuelled by vegetable oil in eastern England, issued a statement in reaction to a sharp rise in its share price.

However, it emphasised that discussions are at a preliminary stage and said there can be no certainty an offer will be made.

Analysts said the company could have attracted the interest of either a private equity player or a British utility major such as Centrica (CNA.L) or Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE.L).

“It could be private equity, one of the Goldman’s funds for example who are looking to buy up underpriced assets. It could also be one of the large UK utility companies which we’re seeing invest in renewables generation,” said Ian Osburn of Edison investment research.

A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the identity of the potential suitor or the level at which the offer could be pitched.

Shares in Renewable Energy were up 46 percent to 52-3/4 pence at 1020 GMT, valuing the business at about 55 million pounds ($81.6 million), having been as high as 55 pence.

That is below the net asset value of the company’s assets, which chief executive Andrew Whalley last month told Reuters stood at between 65 million pounds and 75 million.

Edison’s Osburn said a 10 percent premium to the net asset value could be a realistic level for a bid.

The shares had risen in recent days from a low of 27-1/2 pence in March, having been as high as 130 pence last August.

By Matt Scuffham

(Editing by David Holmes) ($1=.6738 Pound)