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France

French renewables producer Theolia buys German Natenco

France-based European renewable energy producer Theolia has signed an agreement to buy Natenco, an independent German wind power developer and operator specialising in turnkey projects for third parties. Completion of the EUR 105 million deal was slated for November 30, with half the sum to be raised through borrowings and the rest through share issues and a multi-tranche share option financing program (PACEO) managed by French bank Société Générale. Natenco brings with it ownership of 25 MW of installed wind capacity in France and Germany plus 140 MW under management for third parties, 52 MW under construction in Germany and a development portfolio of around 800 MW worldwide. The acquisition is in keeping with Theolia's strategy of external growth. "Natenco offers Theolia a broader European foundation, combined with long term international visibility," says Theolia CEO Jean-Marie Santander. The company has also benefited from transferring its shares from Euronext's Marché Libre to Eurolist B in July. According to Santander, the transfer brought greater awareness of the group, which in turn enabled it to build stronger relationships with international banks and target external growth opportunities. While Theolia only commissioned its first wind plant, a 10 MW development at Fonds de Fresne in northern France, in January this year, the company now has 33 MW installed wind capacity, plus 74.4 MW under construction and more than 860 MW in development, excluding Natenco's assets. It aims to have 400 MW up and running by the end of 2008, of which around 90% will be wind generated.

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