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Babcock & Brown Power stock tumbles on impairment charges

Monday 18th August 2008

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Babcock & Brown Power shares slumped 31% after the biggest generator on the ASX said it would take A$452 million in charges to write down its Alinta unit and to sell a power station at a loss.

The stock fell to 29.5 Australian cents after the statement. The company's market value has shrunk to a sixth of its worth three months ago.

The company has agreed to sell the Tamar Valley Power Station to the state government of Tasmania for A$100 million in cash after spending A$223 million on construction. The transaction nets out at a A$42 million loss. The company will also take a A$410 million impairment charge against the assets of Alinta.

The utility also announced it has hired UBS AG to conduct a strategic review of the company, it said. Babcock & Brown Power gained approval from lenders to extend a A$120 million loan until March 31 next year, when the company would have be able to repay the debt from cash reserves and the proceeds of asset sales.

The company reiterated its forecast for 2008 EBITDA of A$330 million to A$340 million.

By Jonathan Underhill

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