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Germany

Spanish giant moves into Germany -- Another strategic acquisition

Spain's Gamesa Energía is expanding its wind project development business into Germany. It has fully acquired German wind developer and financing company EBV Management Holding of Oldenburg. In what is termed a "strategic partnership," Gamesa Energía "will secure long term growth at the EBV group." At the same time EBV will now predominantly use turbines for its projects supplied by Gamesa Eólica, the Gamesa group's wind turbine manufacturer. The deal has yet to be authorised by the German federal cartel office.

"We know the market very well and will make an excellent co-operation partner," says EBV's Stefan Blankemeyer. Backed by Gamesa's financial strength, EBV will be able to develop, build and operate wind projects to demonstrate their performance, then bundle projects into packages for selling on, he says. "This creates more security for the buyer. They can see the wind stations perform and bundling wind stations into larger units opens the door to new customers, including municipal or regional utilities." Unlike German competitor Winkra Energie, taken over last year by Dutch utility Essent, EBV does not intend to build its own portfolio of wind stations.

In creating larger projects of interest to large companies, EBV is reducing its promotion of wind funds as a vehicle to raise private sector equity for wind development. Over the past two years EBV has sold turnkey projects to Deutsche Bank and its subsidiary Deutsche Immobilien Leasing, and to major leasing company LHI. "They then market the project as funds. This is the trend," says Blankemeyer.

With Gamesa's support, EBV expects to expand co-operation with other wind station developers on a project-by-project basis. Its greater financial clout will enable it to acquire projects at various stages of completion when other developers run out of money, it feels. Neither Gamesa nor EBV are pursuing offshore wind developments. "We have plenty to do onshore," says Blankemeyer.

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