Western Wind Energy: Company remains for sale
VANCOUVER - Western Wind Energy Corp. wishes to comment on last night's announcement from Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners L.P. and its indirect subsidiary WWE Equity Holdings Inc. (together "Brookfield").
Brookfield acknowledged in a press release last night, that it had failed to obtain the sufficient number of shares required under the Rules for a Permitted Bid by an Insider, namely, acceptance by 50% of independent shareholders of its bid of $2.60. Significantly, in its press release, Brookfield deliberately omitted to state the number of shareholders who had tendered to its bid, a fact that we believe indicates that many shareholders decided to reject their offer and confirms Brookfield's news release of January 28, 2013 where Brookfield confirms only 22% of the shareholders have either tendered or may do so in the future. This leaves more than 75% of shareholders who have said "NO" to the Brookfield Offer. The Brookfield bid has been public since November 23, 2012, with a nominal increase of $0.10 per share made on January 28, 2013, sufficient time for shareholders to make an assessment.
Brookfield has previously stated, three times, that their bid was a "final offer" and that "time is running out". Brookfield has now extended its bid by ten days as a result of its huge failure to obtain the required number of tendered shares.
The shareholders have spoken that this offer is inadequate and we continue to urge Brookfield to listen to what the shareholders require. We understand the frustration of some long-time shareholders but we reiterate that Western Wind is in fact, for sale. Contrary to statements made by Brookfield, Western Wind's management is fully committed to a sales process that will maximize shareholder value. Yabucoa is proceeding towards Financial Close and Brookfield does not want our shareholders to receive any value for this asset or any other significant asset.
As we have previously stated, Brookfield, as a large minority shareholder and an insider making a hostile bid, has had the effect of discouraging other potential bidders from proceeding because of its ability to outbid potential bids, with its lower cost average. No bidder wants to spend millions of dollars on following a process to simply have Brookfield thwart any attempt. If this is in fact Brookfield's last and final offer, Western Wind believes that a formal publicized withdrawal of Brookfield's bid will unleash a true auction for the Company. Alternatively, the door remains open for discussions between Western Wind, its investment bankers and Brookfield, on ways to increase shareholder value.
By rejecting Brookfield's bid, shareholders have sent a message about the inadequacy of its offer and the unfairness of its tactics. As columnist Tom Konrad, who writes for Forbes noted on February 4th, 2013, in a column entitled, Brookfield's Revised Offer for Western Wind Still Too Low, "C$2.50 a share was too low a price for Western Wind in 2011, and C$2.60 is too low for a stronger Western Wind today."
ABOUT WESTERN WIND ENERGY CORP.
Western Wind is a vertically integrated renewable energy production company that owns and operates wind and solar generation facilities with 165 net MW of rated capacity in production, in the States of California and Arizona. Western Wind further owns substantial development assets for both solar and wind energy in the U.S. The Company is headquartered in Vancouver, BC and has branch offices in Scottsdale, Arizona and Tehachapi, California. Western Wind trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "WND", and in the United States on the OTCQX under the symbol "WNDEF".
The Company owns and operates three wind energy generation facilities in California, and one fully integrated combined wind and solar energy generation facility in Arizona. The three operating wind generation facilities in California are comprised of the 120MW Windstar, the 4.5MW Windridge facilities in Tehachapi, and the 30MW Mesa wind generation facility near Palm Springs. The facility in Arizona is the Company's 10.5MW Kingman integrated solar and wind facility. The Company is further developing wind and solar energy projects in California, Arizona, and Puerto Rico.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jeffrey J. Ciachurski
President & Chief Executive Officer
Investor Relations Contact:
Tel: (416) 992-7227