Canadian Hydro wind farm on Cowley Ridge east of Crowsnest Pass.
Image credit:Canwest News Service/Ted Rhodes, via Financial Post.
The Toronto Star offers a somewhat cynical view of a recent green power takeover move, in which Canadian TransAlta has bid to take over the country's leading green power producers. From the Star:
Canada's biggest generator of dirty power has launched a $1.5 billion hostile bid for the country's leading developer of clean power, including the two largest wind farms in Ontario. Analysts say TransAlta Corp.'s proposed acquisition of Calgary-based Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. could be the first of many moves in an energy sector that sees big polluters trying to green up their assets, partly to limit their exposure to carbon-emission penalties once a national cap-and-trade system is introduced.Does this mark a coming North American epidemic of green power buyout fever? What's the real motive? Read on for details.Here's the kilowatt quote:
The proposed acquisition would boost the amount of green power in TransAlta's portfolio to 1,900 megawatts and represent 22 per cent of its power mix, up from 15 per cent.
While wind power is seen as both recession-proof and booming, it's hard to judge the spirit of TransAlta's move from afar. Is it defensive, to cushion the blows of a low carbon future? Or meant to slow down the spread of green power before coal operations are paid down? Or perhaps -- as an alternative view --the move is based on survival instincts and doing well by doing good...by gradual transition.
The TransAlta website lists several important achievements that would seem to favor that last interpretation:
* North American Dow Jones Sustainability Index (2006 - 2009)
* Named as one of Jantzi/Maclean's TOP 50 Responsible Corporations in Canada in 2009
* FTSE4Good Index (2009) for meeting globally recognized corporate responsibility standards
* Conference Board of Canada / Spencer Stuart National Award in Governance (2009)
* Corporate Competitiveness Award (2005) Globe and Mail
* Top Utility in Corporate Governance for Canadian companies (Globe and Mail/Report on Business)
* AAA for Corporate Governance (Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics and Board Effectiveness)
* Excel Partnership Award (The GLOBE Foundation and The Delphi Group)
* Carbon Disclosure Project 2007 - Canada 200 – Climate Disclosure Leader
Meanwhile, Financial Post has the business and stock details here in TransAlta in $654M bid for Canadian Hydro.
Note: The varying amounts of the takeover bid amount cited in recent media coverage, ranging from the millions to billions, relates, I assume, to differences in currency cited and/or changing offers.