TPG Capital and a group of lenders have sold Australian electricity distributor Alinta Energy for AUD4bn (€2.84bn).

TPG had mooted an exit from its investment Alinta Energy – one of its largest in Asia-Pacific – since 2014

It considered an initial public offering before choosing to sell the company privately to Hong Kong-based company Chow Tai Fook Enterprises.

Alinta said the sale highlighted the attractiveness of the Australian energy market.

Chow Tai Fook Enterprises indicated that the acquisition was “highly strategic”, Alinta added.

“They are committed to ensuring that the energy needs of Alinta’s customers continue to be met, and intend to grow the business by pursuing value accretive investment opportunities in the Australian energy market as they arise.”

Alinta Energy, which owns and has under contract up to 1,957MW of energy, supplies around 800,000 combined electricity and gas retail customers across Australia and New Zealand.

TPG Capital and other lenders to the Australian energy company cancelled its heavy debt obligations in return for its assets in 2010. They inherited an entity with 10 Australian power generation plants, valued at AUD2.1bn.

Alinta’s then owner, Babcock & Brown, collapsed in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Chow Tai Fook will require approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board for the purchase.

The private Hong Kong-based holding company, owned and controlled by the Cheng family, has a diverse range of investments with a focus on property development and investment, hospitality services, infrastructure, aircraft leasing and department stores.