State utility buys Estonia's biggest wind developer

ESTONIA: State-owned energy company Eesti Energia will take over renewables developer Nelja Energia, which owns much of the online capacity in the Baltic region.

Nelja Energia's 39.1MW Ciuteliai wind farm in Lithuania
Nelja Energia's 39.1MW Ciuteliai wind farm in Lithuania

Eesti, acting through one of its subsidiaries, Enefit Green, will acquire 100% of shares in Nelja for €289 million, the two companies announced.

As part of the transaction, fellow Estonian renewable energy developer Vardar will sell its 77% stake in Nelja, and Eesti will acquire the remaining 23% from Estonian investors.

It will also assume Nelja’s net debt, which totalled €204 million at the end of 2017, the two companies stated.

Estonia public broadcaster ERR described the deal as the third largest in the country's history.

Nelja owns 17 operational wind farms in Estonia and Lithuania with a combined capacity of 286.75MW.

Its projects account for 147.85MW of Estonia’s 338.3MW online capacity (43.7%) and 138.9MW of Lithuania 310.1MW in operation (44.8%), according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

Nelja also owns biomass plants in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, according to its website.

The acquisition is subject to approval by the executive board of Buskerud County in Norway – where majority shareholder Vardar is based – as well as the usual competition authorities, Eesti stated.

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