EDP postpones plans for listing of renewables division

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Portugal's national energy company, Energías de Portugal (EDP), is postponing plans to go public with its renewable energy business, saying it wants to complete the integration and consolidation of the numerous assets it has acquired over the past year first. Originally planned for this year, the stock exchange listing is now likely to take place next year, says EDP's António Mexia. Assets recently acquired by the company include US wind developer Horizon Wind Energy, with an interest or ownership in around 1500 MW of projects built or under construction and a project pipeline of up to 9000 MW (Windpower Monthly, May 2007). Consolidation of Horizon, bought for $2.15 billion, is expected later this year, says Mexia. Other assets to be integrated include three interrelated Spanish wind developers, Tarcan, Ceasa, and Agrupación Eólica with a combined wind portfolio of 1999 MW in France and Spain, acquired by EDP's renewables subsidiary Novas Energías do Ocidente in December, plus the 1000 MW of wind project rights granted by the Portuguese government after a competitive bidding process (Windpower Monthly, November 2006). "What interests us at this moment is to guarantee the integration and consolidation of these assets. Only after this consolidation is completed will our presence on the market make sense," says Mexia, who announced the plan to go public back in July 2006. EDP's António de Almeida says he hopes to persuade the Portuguese government to retain its 25.06% shareholding in the company for now. "It would be very prudent to maintain the state's shareholding until we consolidate the Horizon operation because it is worth EUR 6 billion and we have a lot of difficulty increasing shareholding capital," he says. The government has otherwise promised a new wave of privatisation, vowing to reduce its stakes in companies. EDP is reportedly eyeing potential investments in a wind turbine manufacturer.

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