The colorful and acrimonious recent history of Western Wind Energy (TSX:WND) may soon be a thing of the past.
This morning, the company provided an update on the process it began late in July, when amidst verbal jousting with a dissident shareholder group led by investors Savitr Capital LLC, management announced it would put itself on the block.
Western Wind says advisor Rothschild has now contacted and provided summary marketing materials to 56 potential acquirers in North America and a further nineteen abroad. The company says the process is “…moving forward in a disciplined and successful manner, ” and that it will forward the highest bid to shareholders for their approval.
Shares of Western wind soared this summer after announcing the 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.
The dissident shareholder group, led by Western Wind investor Savitr Capital LLC, said Western Wind’s decision was “disappointingly unproductive” and that it planned to nominate five new directors at the company’s annual general meeting on September 25th.
Managment, meanwhile, says the sales process is irreversible, pointing out that today’s press release was is signed by all five directors.
The hornet’s nest of controversy surrounding Western Wind’s stock has been front and center since at least last autumn. On October 11th, the company announced it had received an unsolicited bid of $2.50 a share from Algonquin Power (TSX:AQN). Management wasted little time in dismissing the offer, warning investors that it was a lowball attempt and that “Algonquin is clearly not in a position to offer anywhere near a price that can internally utilize both the tax shield and offer Western Wind Energy shareholders the best value.”
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.