ACEN to take over Aussie JV

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — AC Energy Corp. (ACEN) plans to take over its Australian joint venture platform after getting board approval to buy out its partner for $243.3 million.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday, the company said its board approved the acquisition of the remaining 51.6 percent stake in UPC-AC Renewables Australia owned by UPC Renewables Asia Pacific Holdings Pte Ltd. (UPCAPH) and UPC-AC Renewables CEO Anton Rohner.

The transaction will raise ACEN’s ownership in UPC-AC Renewables Australia, the joint venture holding company for Australia energy and power projects and investments, to 100 percent.

The ACEN board also cleared the issuance of up to 942 million common shares to UPCAPH and Rohner at P11.32 per share or a total of P10.66 billion, subject to adjustments, and subject to agreed conditions precedent and applicable regulatory approvals.

“This transaction marks a strategic pivot for ACEN as the company embarks on its first wholly owned development and operations platform outside of the Philippines,” ACEN president and CEO Eric Francia said.

“We are excited to scale up investment in our Australia platform as we expect the country to accelerate its energy transition,” he said.

The acquisition of the 51.6 percent, which will be done through ACEN’s subsidiary AC Renewables International Pte Ltd., is subject to satisfaction of agreed conditions precedent, and consents and regulatory approvals, including the consent or non-objection of the Foreign Investment Review Board of Australia.

“The strong partnership with ACEN has flourished over the years. We welcome the opportunity to integrate the UPC Australia platform in ACEN’s growing renewable portfolio in the region,” UPC Renewables founder and CEO Brian Caffyn said.

“The joint initiatives we have established in the renewable energy sector is a testament to what the teams can bring together and take ACEN to the next stage of growth,” he said.

Since its formation in 2018, UPCAC Renewables Australia has developed over 8,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy pipeline across New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, and South Australia and is currently constructing the 520 MW New England Solar Farm.

It also plans to install up to 400 megawatt-hour (MWh) lithium-ion battery storage facility, with the first 50 MWh, which is supported by the NSW Emerging Energy Program, expected to become operational in mid-2022.

AC Energy International COO Patrice Clausse said UPC Renewables was one of ACEN’s early partners when the company was starting in the power sector.

“We are delighted to be able to fully integrate the Australia platform into ACEN, including the platform’s excellent development and highly capable team as we continue to grow the company’s footprint in Australia,” he said.

ACEN is the listed energy platform of the Ayala Group. It has 2,600 MW of attributable capacity in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Australia.

The company’s renewable share of capacity is at 80 percent, among the highest in the region.

It aims to be the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia, with a goal of reaching 5,000 MW of renewables capacity by 2025.

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