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NZ Windfarms buys partner's stake in Te Rere Hau for $20.1m

Monday 8th December 2008

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NZ Windfarms agreed to buy the 50% stake in the Te Rere Hau Wind Farm joint venture from its partner for $20.1 million cash.

The transaction, which requires shareholder approval and other consents, is expected to be concluded in the first quarter of 2009, NZ Windfarms said in a statement.

"The acquisition will enable NZ Windfarms to access 100% of the Te Rere Hau Wind Farm revenue and for the Company to achieve a positive operational cashflow more rapidly," Chairman Derek Walker said.

The opportunity to buy the rest of the project arose because partners Babcock & Brown and NP Power were selling assets. Australia's Babcock & Brown, whose shares had dropped almost 100% this year, is selling assets and slashing costs to avert a collapse and gained more breathing space on December 4 when a A$150 million loan was approved.

The Te Rere Hau Wind Farm is developing 97 500kW wind turbines on the Te Rere Hau site on the western slopes of the northern Tararua Ranges which will be capable of generating 48.5 megawatts of power. So far, 29 turbines are in position.

The shares last traded unchanged on December 5 at 75 cents and are down 32% this year.

By Jonathan Underhill

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