Engie, Credit Agricole reach deal for Spanish firm Eolia Renovables

Image: Eolia Renovelables.

November 11 (Renewables Now) - French utility Engie (EPA:ENGI) and lender Credit Agricole (EPA:ACA) have agreed to purchase 97.33% of Spanish firm Eolia Renovables, gaining control over 899 MW of operating solar and onshore wind farms and a 1.2-GW pipeline of projects.

Engie and bancassurance unit Credit Agricole Assurances (CAA) struck the deal with Canadian public and pension funds manager Alberta Investment Management Corporation, they announced on Thursday. The transaction involves 821 MW of onshore wind and 78 MW of photovoltaic (PV) plants with predictable returns over the next 10 years.

Under the agreement, CAA will control the operating assets with a 60% interest, with the remaining 40% to be held by Engie which will also develop and build Eolia's pipeline of projects. The French utility will be in charge of the operation and maintenance (O&M), asset and energy management and development services.

The transaction is a major step for Engie on the Iberian peninsula, building on its current 2.9-GW renewables portfolio which includes 1.7 GW of Portuguese hydropower plants purchased from Energias de Portugal SA (ELI:EDP) in 2020. The acquisition advances the French utility's goal of reaching 50 GW of renewable capacity by 2025.

"This acquisition of Eolia Renovables, one of the largest renewable players in Spain, is fully in line with our strategy which is to accelerate our investments in renewables in our key markets while bringing our industrial and energy management expertise," Engie CEO Catherine MacGregor said.

For Credit Agricole, the move furthers its ambition of doubling its renewables investments so as to enable 11 GW by 2025.

The value of the deal was not disclosed, but was reported by Reuters to amount to just over EUR 2 billion (USD 2.3bn) in enterprise terms. According to the statement, the acquisition will have a net financial debt impact for Engie of EUR 0.4 billion.

The transaction, which hinges on antitrust approvals, is seen to be completed by the first quarter of 2022.

(EUR 1 = USD 1.156)

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