Australian infrastructure firm Spark to be sold in US$3.72bn deal

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Spark Infrastructure own and operate a 120MW solar farm in New South Wales. Image: Spark Infrastructure

Australian energy infrastructure investor Spark Infrastructure is to be acquired by a consortium led by US private equity group KKR in a deal worth US$3.72 billion, according to a filing with Australia’s Securities Exchange.  

Other consortium members include Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board.

Spark’s board said it unanimously recommended the bid in the absence of a better offer. The deal valued the Sydney-based company’s shares at AUS$2.95 (US$2.11) each. Spark had rejected previous offers by the consortium of AUS$2.7 and AUS$28, saying they undervalued the company.

Shareholders are expected to vote on the bid at the end of this year, according to the filing.  

Spark owns and operates the 120MW Bomen Solar Farm in New South Wales through its Spark Renewables division, which is also intending to develop a 2.5GW renewable energy hub in New South Wales. It also owns minority stakes in a range of Australian energy and grid companies, including a 49% stake in SA Power Networks and Victoria Power Networks

“The investments we have made in distribution, transmission and renewables put Spark Infrastructure front and centre of Australia’s low-emissions energy future. We are pleased this has been recognised in the Scheme consideration agreed with the Consortium,” said Rick Francis, managing director at Spark Infrastructure.

Spark Infrastructure was advised by Goldman Sachs and Herbert Smith Freehills.

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