This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 as it forms part of domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.
20 June 2023
("Esken", the "Group" or the "Company")
Sale of investment in Mersey Bioenergy
Esken, the aviation and renewable energy group, announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, Esken Green Energy Limited, has today agreed the sale of its investment in Mersey Bioenergy Holdings Limited and its wholly owned subsidiary (together "Mersey Bioenergy") to UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments L.P., a member of the Bioenergy Infrastructure Group, for a total cash consideration of £9m (the "Disposal").
Mersey Bioenergy owns and operates a combined heat and power plant in Widnes and the Disposal is part of Esken's ongoing strategy to dispose of non-core assets.
Esken's investment in Mersey Bioenergy comprised a 39.6% shareholding and £7.3m of unsecured 13.5% loan notes with a ten-year term ending in November 2024. The shareholding and loan notes had been fully written down by Esken, with a £nil net book value as at 31 August 2022, and the investment in Mersey Bioenergy did not contribute to either profit or loss for the Group in the year ended 28 February 2022.
The consideration of £9m will be paid in cash on completion, and the cash will be used for repayment of debt and working capital purposes. Completion will take place once certain conditions have been satisfied, including conditions which relate to the refinancing of Mersey Bioenergy by Bioenergy Infrastructure Group and the capitalisation of all existing loan notes issued by Mersey Bioenergy Holdings Limited. Completion is expected to take place before the end of August 2023.
This Disposal does not impact the Mersey Bioenergy Fuel Supply Agreement with Esken Renewables, which expires July 2035.
The Disposal constitutes a Class 2 transaction for Esken for the purposes of the Financial Conduct Authority's Listing Rules.
The current shareholders in Mersey Bioenergy Holdings Limited are: UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments L.P. (49.9%), Esken Green Energy Limited (39.6%) and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (10.5%).
Esken Limited C/o Tulchan Communications
Charlie Geller, Group Communications Director
Olivia Peters / Lisa Jarrett-Kerr
020 7353 4200