Australian investor expands its European wind portfolio in Britain and Germany

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Australia's Global Wind Partners (GWP) is expanding its European portfolio following a conditional acquisition of two wind stations in Germany with a combined capacity of 19.5 MW from Renerco Renewable Energy Concepts AG (Renerco) for A$39 million (EUR 23.12 million). They are due online by the end of the year in North Rhine Westphalia. GWP is a 50:50 joint venture owned by global investment firm Babcock & Brown (B&B) of London and Australian company Prime Infrastructure, established in June 2003 specifically to invest in wind projects. B&B has provided a bridge facility and indemnity to GWP to enable an appropriate period to complete due diligence on the acquisition. GWP intends to draw on a new corporate debt facility to repay B&B. As part of the sale terms, B&B has agreed with Renerco that GWP has first right of refusal on future projects. GWP anticipates it will procure up to 150 MW more of installed wind capacity by the end of 2006 in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. This latest GWP addition adds a German element to the firm's European portfolio, which mainly consists of an agreement to acquire 608 MW in Spain from Gamesa before 2007 (Windpower Monthly, February 2005). GWP's Chris Chapman says the German purchase "should further consolidate GWP's position as a significant global player in wind energy." GWP's medium term objective is to own 500 MW of installed wind energy capacity.

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