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Danish pension investor PFA launches strategic push into wind power with €102m onshore buy

Purchases 196MW onshore wind business to kick off strategy

PFA, Denmark’s biggest commercial pension provider with a balance sheet of DKK 370bn (€49.6bn), has kicked off a strategic push into wind power by agreeing to buy the Danish onshore wind business of energy group DONG in partnership with energy company Syd Energi (SE) for DKK760m (€102m).

The deal comprises a total of 272 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 196MW sited in 80 sites in Denmark. It also includes an early stage development project totalling up to 23MW.

Some 18 employees will be transferred to a new 50-50 venture formed by PFA and SE called SE Blue Renewables.

The pair has ambitions to become the market leader in wind energy in Denmark and selected neighboring countries.

“With the purchase of a large number of turbines we are really on track. The acquisition allows us to produce wind power with relatively low and stable costs,” said Ole Fruekilde Madsen, CEO of SE Energy & Climate and chairman of SE Blue Renewables. Jesper Langmack, Director of PFA Asset Management, will be vice chairman of the venture.
The purchase is the culmination of a long process forPFA, which has been looking for the right investment in wind turbines. Fellow Danish investors such as PensionDanmark and PKA are already active in wind energy.

“In the PFA, we have evaluated several wind energy projects for a long time. When we saw this opportunity, we chose to strike,” said Langmack.

“When we saw this opportunity, we chose to strike”

DONG, 76%-owned by the Danish government, had announced its intention to divest “non-core” assets in February this year and focus on offshore wind.

“Going forward our competences and capital will be deployed in offshore wind where we have a strong and differentiated competitive platform,” said DONG CEO Henrik Poulsen.

The transaction is expected to be completed later in 2013 following approval by the Danish authorities.

Earlier this week, PFA bought the former bank Cantobank and announced plans to run it as an investment and savings provider targeting its existing client base.