First Reserve exits deal to buy Eolia Renovables

SPAIN: US investment fund First Reserve has pulled out of negotiations to buy Spanish wind and solar investment group Eolia Renovables.

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According to analysts, Eolia refused to accept an offer at just over €300 million for its assets. Reports regarding online assets vary, marking them at either 350MW or just over 670MW. Sources coincide on citing a pipeline of just over 400MW.

Eolia was not available for comment.

The breakdown underpins the weakness of the Spanish market, where Eolia has its biggest concentration of assets. The government hit that market in January by freezing power-sales subsidies on new capacity installed after 2012.

First Reserve's €300 million offer reflects the changing fortunes of the company. In 2008, in preparing the company's failed plan to debut on the Madrid stock exchange, Citibank valued Eolia at €1 billion.

In a second failed attempt in 2010, Deutch Bank and Goldman Sachs valued it at €600-700 million, spurring investor complaints that the company was being undervalued.

Eolia is made up of a myriad of investors, including banks BBK, Bankinter and Sabadell. Wind developers Preneal and N+1 also hold shares.

In December, First Reserve entered the international wind industry with a joint venture with Renovalia, Renovalia Reserve.

Under the deal, First Reserve will initially invest $150 million in the joint venture and focus on developing and acquiring new wind capacity. The joint venture will be called Renovalia Reserve.

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