TORONTO, November 23, 2009 - First Asset PowerGen Fund (the "Fund") (TSX: PGT.UN) announced today that it has restated the value of its holding in Confederation Power Inc. ("Confederation"), a Canadian private power developer and the Fund's largest holding, to $30 million, with the result that the net asset value per unit of the Fund as at today's date is approximately $11.89.
In accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the Fund carries its investments at fair value. Historically, the Fund has determined fair value of this holding primarily on the basis of a valuation model, a process which is reviewed and approved annually by the Fund's auditors. As part of this process, the Fund assesses the fair value range of Confederation, which range includes the fair value estimated for Confederation at the time of acquisition and a probability weighted, sum-of-the-projects discounted cash flow analysis.
As previously announced, the Fund retained a nationally recognized investment bank to help it assess strategic alternatives to enhance the value of Confederation to the Fund, including through a possible sale of some or all of the shares or assets of this entity. The process to date has involved two phases: the solicitation of expressions of interest that were accompanied by preliminary indications of value followed by the receipt of conditional offers. Preliminary indications of value obtained from the several parties participating in the process supported the Fund's view with respect to the value of this holding. However, having received conditional offers from certain of these parties, it has become evident that it is unlikely that the Fund will receive an offer consistent with the bidders' preliminary indications of value or the value of Confederation as recorded on the books of the Fund.
The Fund believes that global credit markets have impacted the bidders' capacity to effect a transaction, the prices they would be prepared to pay in connection with such a transaction and how such payments would be structured. The Fund also believes that the conditional offers received to date may have been influenced by developments relating to a significant bid in British Columbia, discussed below, which bidders may have concluded increased uncertainty relating to revenue associated with this project. While the Fund does not believe that these offers properly reflect the value of Confederation, the Fund believes that it is prudent to have regard for the information derived from this process in the determination of the value at which this asset is recorded. Accordingly, the Fund has determined that the value of Confederation will be restated to $30,000,000.
The Fund will continue to assess the value of Confederation in the context of the current process and as determinations are made with respect to Confederation's outstanding bids. The strategic process is on-going, though no assurance can be given that a transaction on terms acceptable to the Fund can be completed. The Fund will continue to assess all available alternatives and opportunities.
The Fund noted that Confederation has received notification from BC Hydro that the projects it submitted in the 2008 Clean Power Call for Tender continue to be under consideration. In their notification, BC Hydro stated that they will commence discussions with an initial group of 13 projects and a further 34 projects before the end of November. The Confederation projects are listed in the second group. BC Hydro has advised that the intent of all discussions will be to successfully negotiate energy purchase agreements ("EPA"). There can be no assurance that Confederation will successfully negotiate an EPA, which may further affect Confederation's value.
The Fund also announced today that it anticipates that it will limit the number of Units that may be redeemed in January, 2010 to 10% of the Units outstanding as at December 31, 2009. The Manager is of the opinion that a greater amount of redemptions would impair the operation of the Fund. The Fund added, however, that if a transaction involving Confederation is concluded in advance of January 31, 2010, the Fund may increase any limit it imposes.
For further information, please contact Rob MacNiven, Investor Relations at 416-642-1289 or 1-877-642-1289 or visit www.firstasset.com.