Skip to main content

The deal with Brookfield is aimed at speeding up TransAlta’s shift to gas from coal-fired power.

CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

TransAlta Corp. won’t entertain new talks with a U.S. activist investor after it filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the power producer’s $750-million partnership deal with Brookfield Renewable Partners LP, TransAlta’s chairman says.

The deal with Brookfield, aimed at speeding up TransAlta’s shift to gas from coal-fired power, will close as planned next week, chairman Gordon Giffin said at the annual meeting on Friday.

New York-based Mangrove Partners Master Fund Ltd., which has sought to upend TransAlta’s deal since late March, filed suit this week after abandoning an effort to get securities regulators to hold a separate shareholder vote on the transaction. Mr. Giffin and chief executive Dawn Farrell said they had engaged in discussions often with Mangrove, but no more.

Story continues below advertisement

“I’m having no discussions with people who file that kind of drivel,” Mr. Giffin told reporters. “If they want to stop the foolishness and become constructive shareholders, of course we will talk to them.”

Mangrove, which has 7.1 per cent of TransAlta shares, complains that the company’s board and management are putting their own interests before those of shareholders by selling Brookfield a stake in the prized hydro assets. The company has said the deal achieves many of the objectives that the activists and other shareholders had been clamouring for, including funding a share buyback.

The dissidents had said they would withhold votes for three of TransAlta’s director nominees, but all 12 received more than 90-per-cent support from shareholders, according to the company.

In its lawsuit, Mangrove said Brookfield had proposed takeovers of TransAlta in 2015 and 2017. Ms. Farrell said on Friday that TransAlta rejected such overtures because its shares had been beaten down by investor fears over the Alberta government’s mandated end to coal-fired generation, fears that have since been largely assuaged.

“We never accepted the offers because the company was always under trading in its value because of the way the external environment was being seen for the company," she said. "There was no way to do a transaction for the bigger company, so we didn’t.”

Stay up to date on all our Streetwise stories. We have a Streetwise newsletter, covering mergers and acquisitions, plus financial services news. It is sent Tuesday to Saturday morning. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies