General Electric’s plan to float its $1.2 billion Worsley Alumina power plant on the Australian Securities Exchange is said to have alerted a number of major infrastructure investors who are interested in buying the West Australian asset.
According to The Australian, it is believed that a trade sale, rather than an initial public offering (IPO) is the likelier outcome for Worsley and that listed industry players such as Duet, APA and Envestra are some of the parties said to be interested in acquiring the multi-fuel plant near Collie, 189km southeast of Perth.
Rumour has it that GE’s move to float or sell the Worsley plant is driven by the limited availability of high-yielding listed infrastructure investment opportunities.
The managing director of Sirius Fund Management, Kieran Kelly, said that should the asset be subject to an IPO, it would be of interest to his company, subject to price.
“We like assets that have a bit of economic protection around them — that is, that they tend to be monopolies reasonably well shielded from competition,” he said.
“We’d like more infrastructure of the right type.”
Worsley, which powers one of the world’s largest alumina refineries, BHP Billiton’s Worsley Alumina, has been positioned for a potential IPO through Macquarie Capital, with a $1.2bn-$1.3bn enterprise value and a market value between $484 million and $512 million.