IBERDROLA has reached an agreement with a consortium of EDF Energies Nouvelles (20%), MEAG, asset manager of Munich Re and ERGO (40%), and GE Energy Financial Services (40%), a unit of GE, for the sale of 32 operating onshore wind farms in France totaling 321.4 megawatts.
The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, among other details not disclosed, is valued at €350 million, plus an additional €50 million depending on wind resources at the wind farms.
The wind farms are spread throughout France, use a variety of manufacturers’ turbines, and went into operation from 2006-2012, with long-term contracts to sell the electricity under the French feed-in tariff.
This transaction is in line with IBERDROLA’s outlook for 2012-14 – presented in London last October – which contemplates divesting assets in non-core businesses and markets, for approximately €2 billion, to strengthen its balance sheet.
IBERDROLA has sold non-core assets valued at around €850 million so far this year, 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% share in Medgaz to Fluxys.
Previous transactions included the sale of US-based companies The Energy Network (owner of Hartford Steam) to Energetix and NYSEG Solutions to Direct Energy; all its gas distribution assets in Spain (Madrid, Murcia and Valencia region); its 13.25% stake in Gas Natural Mexico; most of its shares in telecommunications operator Euskaltel – where it still holds a 2% stake – and the sale of GH Electrotermia, a company participated in jointly with BBVA through Corporación IBV.
IBERDROLA will continue its divestment programme in the coming months with the goal of reinforcing its financial strength, by reducing debt, improving financial ratios and maintaining its credit rating.