NTR mulls options for $196m shareholder windfall

Energy group establishes committee to consider various options

 

Renewable energy group NTR is still deciding how best to distribute $196 million (€175 million) from the sale of US windfarms to shareholders.

Announcing its full-year results on Friday, the company said it had established a committee to consider the various options with a view to delivering a “liquidity event” before the end of the year.

This could involve either a share redemption scheme and/or a dividend option.

The former may see disgruntled investors, such as recycling group One51 and investment vehicle Pageant Holdings, exit the business.

The group’s other main shareholder Woodford, which is controlled by NTR chairman Tom Roche and his family, has indicated to the board that it does not intend to sell its stake.

“The exact format of any proposed liquidity event is yet to be decided and any such liquidity event would likely comprise a return of capital, either by way of a dividend to shareholders or a share redemption programme,” NTR said in a statement accompanying its results.

“A committee of the board, comprised solely of independent directors, has been established for the purpose of considering the various options available to the group, with a view to recommending a proposal which is fair and optimal for all shareholders,” it added.

NTR said net profits rose 14 per cent to €35.7 million for the year to the end of March, while its revenues for the period were marginally down at €45.5 million.

The group said profits were boosted by foreign exchange gains predicated on the strengthening of the dollar.

It also recorded an income tax credit of €8.1 million arising as a result of changes in inflation assumptions used in the calculation of a deferred tax liability relating to the sale of the West-Link toll bridge in Dublin.

Total assets at the end of the year stood at €737 million, up 19 per cent on the €618 million the previous 12 months.

The group said it currently owns four operational single turbine sites, with a further eight due for construction this financial year, noting that €7.1 million was invested during the year in wind farm projects in Northern Ireland.

The energy group said two roads assets in Portlaoise and Waterford in which its holds a 33 per cent stake enjoyed a 5 per cent and 9 per cent growth in annual traffic levels respectively.

Chief executive Rosheen McGuckian said: “As we look ahead, while we fully expect to be profitable as a result of the sale of the US wind assets within this financial year, revenues from our new investments should start to flow in 2016 through 2017 as projects complete construction and energy flows. Our goal is to have profits fully running to a steady state basis by 2018.”