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January 31, 2014 6:21 pm
Denmark’s Dong Energy is selling half its stake in the world’s biggest operating offshore wind farm, the UK’s London Array, to a Canadian pension fund manager for £644m.
The Danish utility, which owns nearly 25 per cent of the UK’s offshore wind generating capacity, said it had been working on the deal well before the Goldman controversy erupted, as part of its strategy to sell off stakes in the farms it builds.
Samuel Leupold, executive vice-president of Dong Energy Wind Power, said: “Our strategy is to continuously enter into partnership agreements with industrial and financial partners to extract part of the value creation from our projects, share the risk in our portfolio and attract capital to be able to continue to invest in new offshore wind farms.”
Dong will sell half its 50 per cent share in London Array to La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
RBC Capital Markets, which acted as sole financial adviser to La Caisse, said it was the first acquisition by a Canadian pension fund in the UK offshore wind market, which is the biggest in the world.
The deal will give Dong and La Caisse a 25 per cent stake each in the 175-turbine London Array farm off the coasts of Kent and Essex.
German utility Eon will retain its 30 per cent share in the joint venture while Masdar, the Abu Dhabi renewable energy group, will keep its 20 per cent stake.
The transaction is one of several eye-catching moves in the UK offshore wind industry in the last three months.
ScottishPower Renewables dropped plans to build its Argyll Array wind farm off the coast of Scotland in December shortly after German power company RWE pulled the plug on its £4bn Atlantic Array offshore wind farm, saying the cost of overcoming technical challenges were “prohibitive” in current market conditions.
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