PNE seeks UK alliance after downgrade

UK: German wind developer PNE Wind is seeking a stong financial partner with which it can swiftly implement its UK wind projects.

PNE Wind's HQ in Cuxhaven, Germany
PNE Wind's HQ in Cuxhaven, Germany

The announcement 16 February follows the downwards rating of the company by Euler Hermes Rating (EHR) on 23 January, from BB+/Negative to BB-/Negative with negative outlook.

The downgrade is despite the company's efforts in autumn 2014 to create a source of additional earnings by setting up a so-called "yieldco" in which around 150MW of completed wind projects are to be bundled before selling it in part or completely to investors by the end of 2016.

EHR rating of PNE Wind has been heading downwards since 12 April 2013 when it stood at BBB-Positive, falling to BBB-Negative on 10 April 2014 and BB+-Negative on 17 September 2014.

In connection with the latest rating, EHR described PNE Wind developments in 2014 as unsatisfactory - despite possible first projects sales outside Germany – due to insufficient ongoing development of the project pipeline, uncertainties in the market and increased dependence on individual projects.

Other risks named included potential unplanned write-offs and a dispute with supervisory board member Volker Friedrichsen, as well as additional risk at the wind developer company WKN .

PNE Wind acquired a 53.42 % stake in WKN from holding company Volker Friedrichsen Beteiligungs-GmbH in July 2013. The risks in connection with WKN largely account for the negative outlook of a possible further fall in rating, EHR said.

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