Anglo French deal with Spanish fund

A EUR 27 million agreement with Santander Private Equity of Madrid brings Platina Finance nearly halfway towards its EUR 60 million target fund for financing wind projects. Under the agreement, Spanish fund Santander Infraestructuras FCR becomes a cornerstone investor in Mistral Windfarms (MWF), an equity wind energy investment fund managed by Anglo-French Platina. MWF was set up to finance the construction and operation of some 300 MW of wind farms in the UK and France. The deal represents Santander's first investment outside Spain.

Mistral acquired its first French projects in mid November. The three wind farms total 36 MW and are sited in the Beauce region south-west of Paris. They were developed by Volkswind France, subsidiary of German wind farm operator Volkswind GmbH. Platina arranged the financing package and procured contracts for equipment and construction. BNP Paribas is sole mandated lead arranger for financing the projects which represent a total investment of over EUR 50 million. Vestas France has been awarded the turnkey contract for 18 turbines. Construction is to start immediately and is expected to be completed by August 2006.

The French wind farms are MWF's second investment. In May 2005, it bought the 20 MW Burton Wold wind farm -- now under construction in Northamptonshire, England -- from sister fund Mistral Energy (ME). ME, also managed by Platina, is financing development of a pipeline of wind power projects with the aim of selling the assets to MWF at financial close. The two funds are targeting projects in the 10-40 MW range and expect the completed portfolio to comprise around 20 individual wind stations.

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