Billionaire Andrew Forrest agreed to acquire Partners Group Holding AG-backed CWP Renewables Pty for about a A$4 billion ($2.7 billion) valuation, extending a rush of deal-making focused on Australia’s accelerating shift to cleaner energy.
Forrest’s Squadron Energy Pty will add a CWP portfolio that includes 1.1 gigawatts of wind operations, approvals for solar to battery assets, and as much as 20 gigawatts of potential future development projects, the parties said in separate statements. The deal values CWP Renewables at around A$4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss details.
Representatives of Squadron and Partners Global declined to comment on the financial terms.
“It is paramount that Australia continues to increase cost-efficient renewable green energy, to economically power homes and industry at pace and rid the Australian consumer of its forced reliance to increasingly expensive, dangerously pollutive fossil fuels,” Forrest said in a Wednesday statement.
Squadron is constructing a A$3 billion wind, solar and battery development in Queensland state, a gas import terminal in New South Wales state and holds a stake in Sun Cable Pte Ltd.’s A$30 billion project to export renewable energy from Australia to Singapore.
The CWP deal extends mining tycoon Forrest’s advance into renewables, a push that also includes plans to transform his Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., a key global iron ore supplier, into a producer of green metals and clean hydrogen.
Investors seeking exposure to growth in renewable energy are targeting Australia, one of the world’s biggest per-capita emitters, as the nation seeks to quickly replace expensive and unreliable coal-fired power plants with cleaner alternatives. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. last month agreed a A$18.4 billion offer to acquire utility Origin Energy Ltd., while tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has invested in rival AGL Energy Ltd.
Australia in September passed its first major climate legislation in more than a decade, setting legally binding targets to deepen emissions curbs and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government has also pledged to boost the share of renewables in the nation’s energy mix.
Key utilities, including Origin and AGL, have in recent months brought forward plans to shutter fossil fuel-powered facilities, because of rising competition from lower-cost clean energy sources. That’s prompted concerns from some opposition legislators and major power consumers about how quickly electricity producers can add alternative sources of generation.
“When large industrial and commercial customers come to us, they are looking for efficient and firmed renewable power at scale,” Squadron Energy Chief Executive Officer Eva Hanly said in a statement. “With this acquisition, we will develop and operate an extensive geographic portfolio of night and daytime wind, solar and storage assets that will ensure reliability of supply for our customers.”