Dutch utility Nuon sells Spanish wind assets

After months spent refusing to confirm the sale of its Spanish wind assets (Windpower Monthly, May 2005), Dutch utility Nuon has officially put its Spanish wind development subsidiary, Desarrollos Eólicos (DESA), up for sale. The decision comes just four years after the utility stormed the booming Spanish wind sector with its EUR 109 million purchase of DESA. Nuon says it wants to offload DESA to focus on its key Dutch, Belgian and German markets. The assets up for grabs are 275 MW of operating wind capacity in Andalucia and a development portfolio of 1100 MW. Potential bidders are scrambling fast to get to the front of the queue. Among them are Spanish utilities Iberdrola, Endesa and Unión Fenosa as well as power producer Acciona Energía. Portuguese utility Electricidade de Portugal is also in the frame. All refuse to comment on their initial price offers and Nuon declines to reveal its preferred minimum asking price. Market analysts speculate that offers will be in the EUR 300-500 million range, up to five times the price Nuon paid engineering firm Abengoa for DESA in 2001. A bidding war looks almost certain. "We want a good deal," says Nuon's David Uitdenbogaard, adding "there is no certain deadline" when it comes to finalising a short list and subsequent call for final binding offers. Citigroup will handle the sale.