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Malakoff Acquires 50% Stake in Macarthur Wind Farm

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Malakoff will acquire the entire share capital of Meridian Wind Macarthur Holdings, which operates Macarthur Wind Farm under a joint-venture agreement with Australian-listed AGL Energy Ltd.

Malakoff Corporation Bhd is acquiring a 50 per cent stake in an Australian wind farm for A$130mil (RM382mil) from New Zealand state-owned Meridian Energy Limited. Under the share purchase agreement, Malakoff will acquire the entire share capital of Meridian Wind Macarthur (MWM) Holdings, which operates Macarthur Wind Farm under a joint-venture agreement with Australian-listed AGL Energy Ltd.

Malakoff is 51 per cent-owned by MMC Corporation Bhd. In a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, MMC Corp said Macarthur Wind Farm has been fully operational since January 31 this year. The wind farm in Victoria, Australia, is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere with total generation capacity of 420 MW. Upon completion of the acquisition, Malakoff will hold an indirect 50 per cent participating interest in the wind farm. The remaining stake will be held by AGL Energy.

“It will be our first foray into the Australian renewable energy sector with this large-scale wind project,” said Malakoff chief executive officer Zainal Abidin Jalil. He adds, “we are also keen to continue building our asset portfolio that includes water desalination, district cooling and expansion of operation and maintenance business for power generation.”

The Macarthur wind farm comes with a long-term power purchasing agreement, ensuring stable income for Malakoff regardless of wind resources and future market prices, the firm said. Being the largest independent power producer in Malaysia, Malakoff has expanded its business scope to clean energy. Last year, it partnered Norway-NBT to build a 500MW wind farm worth US$600 million (RM1.9 billion) in Pakistan.

The wind farm is one of the “positive outcomes of certain growth opportunities” that Malakoff’s parent, MMC Corp, had previously cited as a reason for delaying relisting on Bursa Malaysia. The power producer’s initial public offering was estimated to fetch US$1 billion. MMC Corp took Malakoff private in a 2006.

Malakoff owns a generation capacity of 5,020MW in Malaysia, with six power stations that run on gas, oil and coal, according to its 2010 annual report. It also has power plants in Jordan, Algeria and Saudi Arabia.

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