DataRoom AM: TPG's power cut

TPG Capital is keen to offload its stake in Alinta Energy, while SAI Global works with its suitors before today's bid deadline.

Private equity firm TPG Capital is heading for the exit on its stake in Australian power group Alinta Energy, with a multi-billion dollar deal expected next year.

Elsewhere, takeover target SAI Global makes a last-ditch effort to ensure it receives a bid ahead of today’s deadline, AngloGold Ashanti ditches a planned split and Hancock Prospecting dismisses talk of a Roy Hill stake sale.

Alinta Energy’s major shareholder, TPG Capital, is weighing both a float and trade sale of the local power group in a deal that could be worth as much as $4 billion. Given the size of the potential deal, it is expected to be held back until 2015.

Alinta, formerly owned by the WA government, fought for its survival after the financial crisis, but the firm has recovered sharply since a TPG-led syndicate made a big bet on a $2.1 billion debt-for-equity swap in 2011. TPG, which acquired 30 per cent of the firm via the debt-for-equity swap, is joined in ownership by Oaktree Capital, BNP Paribas and a host of other hedge funds and banks.

Meanwhile, there has been a twist in the auction of SAI Global, with the takeover target offering its suitors permission to discuss a key contract with executives of Standards Australia. The Australian Financial Review reports that The Carlyle Group, KKR and Pacific Equity Partners have been granted last-minute access to ensure SAI isn’t left without a suitor come today’s 5pm bid deadline. The lucrative contract with Standards Australia is slated for renegotiation in 2018 and is key to takeover valuations.

In mining, AngloGold Ashanti hasn’t taken long to abandon its asset split plans, responding to investor concerns by scrapping a proposal to separate its international assets. The new vehicle would have housed two WA gold mines, among others, and been listed in London.

Closer to home, Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting has indefinitely extended today’s repayment date for its Galilee Basin partner, GVK, according to the AFR. GVK owes Hancock $US560m ($620m) on its $US1.26bn purchase of coalmines in 2011, but the challenging coal market has reportedly led the group to ask for leeway on the payment timeline.

It’s not the only action at Hancock Prospecting, with speculation swirling that the group was considering the sale of a 5 per cent stake in its giant Roy Hill iron ore project to Korea Development Bank. Talk of a $180m deal was, however, scuppered by Hancock, as the firm said the reports held “no truth”.

Also in resources, the AFR reports that a number of junior iron ore miners were encouraged to tap debt markets ahead of the commodity’s recent price retreat. Among those listed as potentially considering cash top-ups were Atlas Iron, BC Iron and Mount Gibson, though the latter has $500m cash on hand so a capital raising would be a shock.

In the IPO market, Regis Healthcare is tipped by the AFR to tighten the price range for its float after receiving high retail interest in this week’s bookbuild. Regis is hoping to raise at least $410m when listing on the ASX on October 7.

Elsewhere, funds management firm Van Eyk has called in administrators after the recent windup of a number of its funds left it with nowhere else to turn.

Finally, the action is heating up in the global M&A market as the world’s largest beer company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, reportedly weighs a near $135bn move on number two player SABMiller. The rumours come after Heineken knocked back an offer from SABMiller over the weekend.

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