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Bridgepoint in the News

12 August 2011

Funds advised by Bridgepoint reach agreement to acquire Spanish wind energy business of ACS in €596.5 million transaction

Funds advised by Bridgepoint have agreed to acquire a portfolio of wind energy assets from listed Spanish construction conglomerate Auxiliar de Construcción y Servicios (ACS) in a transaction that values the assets at €596.5million.

The portfolio of 11 wind farms in Castilla Leon is the largest independent platform of wind assets in Spain with 443 MW of installed capacity.

Around 80% of Spain's energy requirements are imported, which has resulted in Spain being one of the most advanced renewable energy markets in Europe. Wind energy is a key energy source within that market, covering 15% of electricity demand in 2010 and representing 80% of the total renewable energy capacity installed on account of its stable and proven technology as well as its low cost of production.

Notwithstanding the financial crisis, the wind sector in Spain achieved CAGR of 15% since 2005, and in 2010 alone provided over 16% of total electricity generation in the country. This high growth is forecast to continue with government long-term energy planning envisaging an increase in wind capacity of nearly 15GW by 2020.

"This is a strong platform of wind operating plants in a strategic industry with attractive growth prospects," said Felipe Moreno of Bridgepoint in Madrid of this primary transaction.

"Wind is the leading technology within the growing global renewable energy sector and we believe that this business, with the right leadership, can become the leading player in the Spanish wind industry."

The sector is well-known to Bridgepoint as one of its prior funds successfully invested in CESA, a Spanish wind farm developer and operator, in May 2004. It subsequently exited the business in 2006 when CESA was acquired by Acciona in a transaction totalling €1.47 billion.

As part of the transaction Josu Arlaban has been appointed as CEO. He is the former group CFO of Acciona, one of the largest renewable operators worldwide.

He said: "I fully believe in the opportunity represented by these assets and the prospects for the sector generally. Our aim is to build a strategic asset through greater efficiency and selective acquisitions which will be highly attractive to utilities or energy companies keen to increase their exposure to the renewable energy industry and to one of the most important countries for renewable energy."

The portfolio's existing project finance facilities are expected to rollover as part of the transaction. Advisers involved in the transaction were: for Bridgepoint - Citi and 360 Corporate (corporate finance), KPMG (financial and tax due diligence), BCG (market), Allen & Overy (legal), Marsh (insurance); for vendors - Mediobanca and Société Générale (corporate finance), Deloitte (financial DD) and Clifford Chance (legal and tax).

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