After announcing it would put itself up for sale earlier this week, Western Wind Energy (TSXV:WND) says it is closing in on a buyer.
This morning, the company said it had entered “advanced discussions” with three large, US-based electric utilities. Management says the parent companies of these utilities have “balance sheets in excess of $20-billion.”
On Monday, shares of the company soared after Western Wind announced what it said was a compromise between the wishes of CEO Jeffrey Ciachurski to build the company and the best interests of the shareholders, which the company said had suffered through a campaign by “unregulated investors” who wished to trade its share price down and shake out retail investors.
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On Tuesday, a dissident shareholder group, led by Western Wind investor Savitr Capital LLC, said Western Wind’s decision was “disappointingly unproductive” and it planned to nominate five new directors at the company’s annual general meeting on September 25th.
Andrew Midler, a director nominee and managing member of Savitr, said the fund had reached the “…conclusion that the current board and management team of Western Wind does not have the resolve, experience or credibility to initiate or conclude a sale process or any other plan to maximize shareholder value.” The release went on to say that Western Wind has made questionable acquisitions, has managed the company’s money poorly, and has corporate governance issues, pointing out that Ciachurski is a member of the compensation committee of the board of Western Wind that sets his own compensation.
Western Wind responded later that day, calling the Savitr release “hysterical and dishonest”. The company said “Mr. Midler has a long history, as reported in his biographies, published throughout the Internet, of being a specialist in shorting equities in the marketplace.” The release went on to question the viability of Savitr’s plan for Western Wind and the credibility of its director nominees.
Headquartered in Vancouver, with branch offices in the US, Western Wind Energy’s assets include 560 wind turbines and a solar field, that generates 165 MW of rate capacity.
At press time, shares of Western Wind were up 10.3% to $2.04.