Alinta mulls raising up to A$1 bln in equity -sources

MELBOURNE/PERTH, March 18 Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:13am EDT

MELBOURNE/PERTH, March 18 (Reuters) - Australian utility Alinta Energy (AEJ.AX) is contemplating an equity raising of as much as A$1 billion ($923.4 million) as part of efforts to pay down debt, three sources with direct knowledge of the deal said on Thursday.

Macquarie (MQG.AX) and UBS (UBSN.VX), hired by Alinta to advise it on recapitalisation options, have recommended raising between A$500 million to A$1 billion, but Alinta is still considering its options, one of the sources said.

The sources said Alinta is also hoping to secure a cornerstone investor for the company and is in talks with potential buyers, but the discussions are still at an early stage.

Alinta did not immediately reply to phone calls or an email seeking comment. ($1=1.083 Australian Dollar) (Reporting by Sharon Klyne and Fayen Wong)

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