Northland Power Scraps Sale Without Finding Buyer

Northland Power Inc., the C$4 billion ($3.1 billion) Canadian renewable energy producer, failed to find a buyer after running a sale process, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Shares in Toronto-listed Northland fell as much as 3.9 percent to C$22.10 Wednesday morning and traded at C$22.84 at 9:51 a.m.

China Three Gorges Corp. and Beijing-based State Power Investment Corp. were among companies considering second-round bids for the Toronto-based utility earlier this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. China Three Gorges didn’t secure Chinese regulatory approval to proceed with an offer, while SPIC’s final bid didn’t meet Northland Power’s expectations, the people said.

Some Canadian pension funds looked at Northland Power earlier in the sale process and balked at its valuation, people familiar with the matter have said. The company announced a strategic review last July, led by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and JPMorgan Chase & Co., just weeks after its stock hit an all-time high. Since the announcement, the company’s shares have risen 1.3 percent.

Though the formal sale process has ended, it’s still possible another suitor will emerge, according to one of the people. The company could decide to pursue other options as part of its strategic review, the person said. Spokesmen for Northland Power and China Three Gorges declined to comment, while a Beijing-based representative for SPIC didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and an email seeking comment.

Chinese companies have become more cautious about overseas investments, after regulators warned about the risks in foreign purchases and clamped down on certain types of deals. The value of Chinese outbound acquisitions has dropped 55 percent this year to $66.8 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Northland Power owns or has investments in power generation facilities in Canada, the U.S. and Germany. Its facilities produce electricity from clean natural gas and other renewable sources including solar, wind and biomass, according to its website.

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