An impressive mark-up on the sales price of part of the largest wind farm portfolio in the UK demonstrates once more that the country's Renewables Obligation is delivering highly attractive returns for investors. Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank sold its entire 33.33% stake in Zephyr Investments for £145 million, making it one of Arcapita's most profitable investments to date, according to the bank. "The divestment of our interest after a three year holding period will allow our investors to generate a substantial return on their original investment," says CEO Atif A Abdulmalik. Zephyr owns 17 operating wind farms built by npower renewables, including the 60 MW North Hoyle offshore wind farm. The total 391 MW represents nearly 20% of installed wind capacity in the UK. Arcapita sold its share of Zephyr 50-50 to existing shareholders Infracapital Partners LP, an infrastructure fund managed by Prudential M&G, and a subsidiary of an investment entity advised by JPMorgan Asset Management. The 33.33% share in Zephyr not held by Infracapital and the unnamed investment company is still held by existing investor RWE npower, which owns npower renewables. Arcapita, under its former name of First Islamic Investment Bank, was involved with the Zephyr portfolio since it was first put up for sale in 2004. The two other original partners were RWE npower and Englefield Capital, which sold its one-third stake to Infracapital Partners and the investment company advised by JPMorgan in June this year. Stephen Lilley from Prudential M&G comments: "Renewable energy delivers strong stable returns with real growth potential and the opportunity to increase our interest in such a high quality operational portfolio was too good a prospect to ignore."
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