GDF Suez sells 60% in 680-MW wind, solar portfolio to Mitsui, Fiera
Dec 17, 2012 - French utility GDF Suez (EPA:GSZ) said Monday it would sell a 60% stake in 680 MW of wind and solar projects in Canada to Japan's trader Mitsui & Co Ltd (TYO:8031) and a tie-up led by Canadian fund manager Fiera Axium Infrastructure Inc.
Mitsui and Fiera Axium will pay a purchase price of CAD 2 billion (USD 2bn/EUR 1.5bn) for the assets.
Under the terms of the deal, the three parties will form a joint venture in which GDF Suez will hold a 40%, while Mitsui and the Fiera Axium-led consortium will own 30% each. The portfolio includes 363 MW of operational wind farms and 317 MW of wind and solar projects that are expected to start generating electricity between 2013 and 2014. All projects, located in Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia, come with signed power purchase agreements (PPA) with provincial utilities.
Apart from its participation in the new joint venture, GDF Suez will continue to develop renewable projects in Canada independently, it noted.
The disposal will help cut GDF Suez’s net debt by some CAD 1.3 billion. It is part of the company’s asset optimisation programme aimed at disposing of some EUR 5 billion of assets in 2012. So far the company has raised EUR 3.9 billion from asset sales this year.