BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with some $3.9trn (€2.9trn) of client assets under management, has continued its investment in the UK wind energy sector with a £25.1m (€29.8m) acquisition of a 12MW onshore project in Cornwall in the west of England.
One of its funds has acquired the Goonhilly Downs Wind Farm – one of the oldest wind farms in the UK having gone live in 1993 – from AIM-listed developer Renewable Energy Generation Ltd. (REG). The price includes £14.5m of assumed debt and cash of £10.6m.
Jersey-based REG will continue to manage operations at the wind farm, which contributed £1.1m of pre-tax profits in the year to the end of June.
“We are delighted with the sale of Goonhilly to BlackRock,” said REG’s Chief Executive Andrew Whalley. “This was the first wind project bought by REG back in 2005 and with its successful repowering we have created significant value for shareholders.”
Major shareholders in REG include Utilico Investments, the Bermuda-registered infrastructure investor chaired by former National Grid CEO Roger Urwin, which has a 26.84% stake.Other top investors include Henderson Global Investors (14.18%), CG Asset Management (13.31%), Artemis Investment Management (12.16%), Ecofin (6.55%) and Alliance Trust (5.47%).
The move follows BlackRock’s first investment in UK wind parks in January this year, when one of its funds bought the Sancton Hill and South Sharpley facilities, with a combined 16MW capacity, from REG for £32.1m.
In July, REG said it had completed the long term project financing of its 4MW Orchard End wind farm in Lancashire. The £4.2m, 10-year financing was provided by the Co-operative Bank. It intends to sell the project to BlackRock later this year.
The latest deal comes on the heels of an agreement last week by Impax Asset Management, which said its €330m Impax New Energy Investors II fund had agreed to buy two pre-construction stage wind power projects in Finland with a combined capacity of around 75MW.
The transaction will be implemented in phases and the sale is expected to complete during the first quarter of 2014. Impax will raise project financing for the construction of the projects, although terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The fund’s investors include the European Investment Bank and Finland’s €15.4bn VER state pension fund.