Hong Kong's Chow Tai Fook to buy Australian gas, power retailer Alinta for $3 bn

Hong Kong-based diversified, family-owned company Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE) today struck a deal to buy Australian gas and electricity retailer Alinta Energy, for a reported A$4 billion ($3 billion).

Both companies announced the deal without revealing the financial terms of the transaction, but several media reports estimated the deal to be valued at around $3 billion.

The sale is subject to the Australian regulators approving the proposed acquisition.

CTFE said in a statement that it intended to grow the Alinta business "by pursuing appropriate investment opportunities in the Australian energy market as they arise".

Alinta, owned by a group of private equity firms that include including TPG Capital and Oaktree Capital Group and 30 hedge funds, had been looking for an initial public offering, but CTFE's offer is more lucrative than the A$3.4 billion valued by brokers for the IPO.

Alinta is a leading Australian utility with an owned and contracted generation portfolio of up to 1,957 MW

The Sydney-based company has around 800,000 combined electricity and gas retail customers and approximately 410 employees across Australia and New Zealand.

CTFE, owned by Cheng Yu Tung's family, is a diversified company dealing in property development, hotel, casino, transportation, jewelry, port, and telecommunications.

It runs the Carlyle Hotel in New York and recently acquired a resort with a golf course in the Bahamas.