Wind mergers and acquisitions hit two-year high

GLOBAL: Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the wind industry have hit their highest levels for two years, a report has revealed.

Corporate M&A activity in the first quarter of 2012 was at its strongest level since Q1 2010 with 11 deals closed, according to the Wind Funding and M&A Q1 2012 Report published by market intelligence firm Mercom.

Only three of these deals had their values disclosed, and they totalled $872.2 million. These deals were the $850 million acquisition of Seajacks International, a UK-based offshore Wind Power Service provider, by Marubeni Corporation and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, the $12 million acquisition of Fuji Heavy Industries’ Wind Turbine Generator Business by Hitachi, and the $10.2 million acquisition of a 49.9% stake in OWEC Tower, an offshore wind turbine foundation designer by KV Ventus.

In addition the report found that project M&As announced in Q1 2012 totalled $2.7 billion, going into 18 deals. The largest deals to have their values disclosed were the $900 million acquisition of Gamesa’s 480MW Pocahontas Prairie, Sandy Ridge, Senate and Minonk wind projects by Algonquin Power & Utilities, and the $840 million acquisition of 50% of DONG Energy’s 277MW Borkum Riffgrund 1 project by KIRKBI and The Oticon Foundation.

By far the largest deal announced in terms of generating capacity was Hoctief’s acquisition of four offshore wind farms totalling 2GW, although the value of the deal is yet to be disclosed.

Funding also saw a boost in the first three months of the year, with venture capital (VC) funding of $240 million going into 12 deals, compared to just $12 million going into two deals last quarter.

Large-scale project financing totalled $3.2 billion for 16 deals – all in the onshore sector - comprising a mixture of debt, tax equity and project credit facilities. Corporate debt financing totalled $6.5 billion from six deals, including the $5.5 billion credit facility received by Xinjiang Goldwind Science Technology from China Development Bank.

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