Italian energy group Erg buys wind developer

Italian energy group Erg has increased its weight in the country's wind power business with the acquisition of a 51% stake in developer EnerTAD. The deal will be followed by a public share offer at the same EUR 3.1 price per share for the quoted EnerTAD with which controlling shareholder group TAD was bought out. The price values 100% of the company's equity at about EUR 294 million. Investment group Alerion Industries, with 17% of EnerTAD, will maintain its stake for now although Erg also has an option to buy that holding. EnerTAD operates three wind farms with a combined capacity of 77 MW. Projects for another 133 MW are authorised and an additional 50 MW is at a late stage of the development pipeline, putting EnerTAD well on its way to attaining a goal of 350 MW in wind capacity by 2009. EnerTAD management recently focused the company's business on wind energy, disposing of steel, waste management and waste-to-energy that enjoy lower margins than wind power. Erg, based in Genoa, initially made a EUR 3 per-share bid for EnerTAD in June, but sweetened its offer to EUR 3.1 to win over Alerion and other investors. Prior to the purchase of EnerTAD, Erg's presence in the Italian wind business has been through ERG CESA Eólica, a 50-50 venture set up last year with Spain's CESA. That venture operates a 31 MW wind farm in the region of Abruzzo and has an additional 161 MW authorised, including a 120 MW plant it is constructing in Calabria. As part of an accord reached this summer, Erg and Alerion will also collaborate in the wind business. Alerion Energie Rinnovabili has 65 MW in wind capacity authorised and 90 MW in the pipeline.

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