Merger negotiations between two major wind companies in Spain

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Reported merger negotiations between two major wind power companies in Spain, Terranova and Corporación Eólica SA (CESA), could soon form the country's fourth largest wind station operator after Iberdrola, EHN and Endesa. If the talks are successful, the new company would start life operating 800 MW of wind generating capacity in 31 stations. Neither company is prepared to comment on reports by financial newspaper Cinco Días that a merger is taking place. According to the newspaper, the new company aims to install 200 MW annually over the next three years, mainly in Spain. It will also seek opportunities in Portugal, Italy and Greece. CESA will buy 66% of Terranova and will put 10% of itself up for sale to Terranova, says Cinco Días. CESA currently operates nearly 500 MW of wind capacity, all in Spain. Last May, CESA's former Spanish owner, Guascor, sold 23.75% and 31.25% of CESA to British and Spanish capital risk firms, Bridgepoint and Mercapital, respectfully. Most of the rest is owned by Juan Luis Arregui, founder of wind corporation Gamesa, which has provided CESA with almost all its turbines to date. In November, CESA agreed to develop 700 MW of wind plant with Italy's second largest oil refiner, ERG. CESA now claims a worldwide wind project pipeline of 5000 MW. Terranova's head office is in the United States, in San Diego. The company is owned 70% by American Diego Pionzio and 30% by Guillermo Briones, a Spaniard. It opened its Spanish branch in the late 1990s, while in America it runs a wind plant operation and maintenance service through the brand name WindLynx. In Spain, its strongest activity is in the Galicia region where it has put up 260 MW through the Eurovento joint venture with Japanese group Eurus.

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