AXA fund becomes France's third largest wind owner

FRANCE: Kallista Energy, owned by AXA Private Equity, yesterday became France's third largest wind generator following the acquisition of two wind farms from UK-based fund HG Capital.

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The acquisition of the projects in Bougainville and Saint André, Picardy, with a combined production capacity of 23MW, brings Kallista's total capacity to 321MW. The wind farms use Enercon turbines.

Funds for the projects' acquisition were provided by AXA PE's third pan-European infrastructure fund, called AXA Infrastructure III. The fund is valued at €1.75 billion, of which €700 million has been invested so far.

Neither AXA PE or HG Capital revealed the value of yesterday's deal, which was the fifth investment to be made by AXA Infrastructure III.

AXA PE acquired Kallista from Babcock & Brown in 2009. This allowed Kallista to make numerous acquisitions, such as the Neoelectra Group in 2010 and Power ENR in 2011. In four years, Kallista's wind power has almost doubled.

AXA PE head of infrastructure Mathias Burghardt said: "This is the fifth operation made through AXA Infrastructure Fund III, our fund which reached €1.75 million when it closed in March. It is a perfect fit to our strategy of investing in core infrastructure assets in Europe.

"Europe provides very attractive deal flow opportunities to build a core infrastructure portfolio, which offers protection against inflation and low volatility."

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