Deal sets ERG to be Italy's top wind producer

ITALY: Italian energy group ERG has agreed to acquire 636MW in wind farms from French utility GDF Suez in a deal that will not only make it Italy's largest wind producer, but also give it a foothold in Germany.

The enterprise value (debt and equity for 100% of the company) of the deal is €859 million, ERG said, or about €1.35 million per megawatt of installed capacity. The company already has 488MW of installed wind capacity in Italy.

Buyout options

According to the deal terms, ERG will initially acquire an 80% stake in IP Maestrale, the GDF Suez company that owns 550MW of Italian wind farms and 86MW in Germany, at a cost of €28.2 million. Three years after closing the deal, ERG will have the option to increase its stake to 100%.

ERG is acquiring wind farms in Sicily (161MW), Sardinia (111MW), Campania (95MW), Apulia (91MW), Basilicata (55MW) and Molise (37MW), while the German wind farms are located in the country's central and northern regions.

Following the deal, ERG will become the leading Italian wind producer with just over 1GW in its home market. Its total wind capacity, including French and Bulgarian assets, will amount to about 1.2GW.

Luca Bettone CEO of ERG, said its renewable energy division "can now rely on an industrial and financial dimension that will allow it to independently pursue its growth path, which is above all international".

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