Iberdrola , a multinational electric utility based in Spain’s Bilbao, Basque Country, is divesting itself of a portfolio of 32 operating wind farms in France, currently producing a cumulative 321.4 megawatts (MW. The company had announced in London last October that it would sell assets in non-core businesses and markets to strengthen its balance sheet.
Iberdrola has reached an agreement withan international consortium of buyers, including:
- EDF Energies Nouvelles, a French renewable energy corporation, half owned by French electric utility Électricité de France (20 percent),
- MEAG, a German asset management division of Munich Re and ERGO (40 percent), and
- GE Energy Financial Services (40 percent), a unit of U.S.-based General Electric, a manufacturer of wind turbines.
The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, among other details not disclosed, is valued at US$461 million (€350 million), plus an additional US$66 million (€50 million) depending on wind resources at the wind farms.
To date, the 160 wind turbines installed for the projects have been sourced from a variety of manufacturers. The consortium envisions re-powering some of the wind farms to improve their efficiency and reliability usingGE technology.
Each member of the consortium stated that the transaction is consistent with its renewable energy investment strategy.
“This transaction is a great opportunity for EDF Energies Nouvelles to expand its wind assets portfolio in France and scale up its O&M business. GE’s and MEAG’s diligence and knowledge of this industry allowed us to sign this acquisition in the targeted timeframe,” said Emmanuel Jaclot, executive vice president of EDF Energies Nouvelles.
"With this investment we are adding more sustainable investments with calculable risk and attractive returns to our portfolio, leveraging the know-how of the entire Group," said MEAG Managing Director Holger Kerzel.
"We are pleased to partner with EDF Energies Nouvelles and MEAG in acquiring a substantial portfolio of operating wind projects in France, and intend to seek additional opportunities to expand our renewable energy assets in Europe," said Andrew Marsden, a London-based managing director and European leader at GE Energy Financial Services.Additional details of the transaction were not disclosed. Citi acted as exclusive financial advisor to the consortium.
Iberdrola has sold non-core assets valued at around US$1.1 billion (€850 million) since last fall, including the recently announced sale of its seven operating wind farms in Germany to MVV Energie AG, through its subsidiary MVV Windenergie GmbH; and the sale of its 20% percent share in Medgaz—a submarine natural gas pipeline between Algeria and Spain— to Belgium-based natural gas operator Fluxys.