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France

France

Engie completes takeover of La Compagnie du Vent

FRANCE: Engie has bought the remaining 41% share of French wind developer and operator La Compagnie du Vent.

Engie, formerly GDF Suez, now owns 100% of La Compagnie du Vent
Engie, formerly GDF Suez, now owns 100% of La Compagnie du Vent

The acquisition allows Engie to "reinforce its leading position [in France] with a total of 1,730MW of installed wind power and 522MW of solar", said Gwenaelle Huet, the group's director-general of French renewables.

Engie, then known as Suez, first invested in La Compagnie du Vent in 2007, when it paid €321 million for a majority share, with founder Jean-Michel Germa retaining the balance.

However, relations soon turned sour, and Germa was removed from his post of CEO in 2011. The two sides embarked on a long series of court battles, with Germa accusing Engie of hindering the growth of the company.

Engie has always denied the claim. La Compagnie du Vent "has increased its installed capacity more than five times since Engie invested its capital," said Huet.

In 2016, La Compagnie du Vent realised a turnover of €64 million and net profit of €33 million. It had 423MW of wind power in operation.

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