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American firms covet TransAlta

TheChronicleHerald.ca- Two U.S. private equity firms are offering about $7.8 billion — or $39 a share in cash — for Alberta-based utility TransAlta Corp., which had been under pressure by a major investor to boost its stock price.

LS Power Equity Partners and Global Infrastructure Partners presented TransAlta with a "non-binding approach" on Monday.

TransAlta said its board will "carefully consider the letter and will respond in due course."

LS Power Equity Partners is linked to Luminus Management LLC, the New York-based hedge fund that fought earlier this year to persuade TransAlta to shed assets and to load up on debt as a means to buy back shares.

LS Power president James Bartlett said in a telephone interview that the suitors are seeking a "consensual, negotiated transaction."

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