UPDATE 1-Clinton Group calls on Atlantic Power to explore sale again

Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:32pm EDT
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(Adds background on sale process)

By Mike Stone

Oct 16 (Reuters) - New York-based activist investor Clinton Group Inc called on Atlantic Power Corp on Thursday to restart a sale process it abandoned last month, challenging its decision to remain an independent company.

Atlantic Power shares ended up 21 percent at C$2.73 ($2.43) in Toronto after Reuters reported on an open letter that Clinton Group was preparing to send to the company's board of directors. Clinton Group subsequently published the letter.

Clinton Group is confident that bids for Atlantic Power came in at least at $4 per share, the fund manager's senior managing director Joseph De Perio wrote in the letter.

"With an unaffected price of $3 per share, such bids after a competitive process should have been attractive," De Perio writes.

Clinton is open to working with Atlantic Power in a constructive manner and believes many other shareholders are of like mind, De Perio wrote. He added that Clinton Group has a "meaningful" stake in Atlantic Power. He declined to disclose the size of the stake.

A representative for Boston-based Atlantic Power did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company owns and operates a diverse fleet of power generation assets in the United States and Canada and has a market value of more than $300 million.

Atlantic Power shares lost about a third of their value on Sept. 16 when the struggling utility announced it had removed its chief executive and would not proceed with a sale process it started earlier this year.   Continued...