Fund acquires 75pc stake in Viridian Group’s wind farms

Irish Infrastructure Fund completes first investment in renewable sector by acquiring majority interest in portfolio of wind farms from Viridian Group

Irish Infrastructure Fund completes first investment

in renewable sector by acquiring majority interest in portfolio of wind farms from Viridian Group

The Irish Infrastructure Fund has acquired a controlling stake in a portfolio of wind farms in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The portfolio, previously wholly owned by the Viridian Group (“the Group”), consists of 104 megawatt (MW) of capacity generated by 10 wind farms, eight of which are located in the Republic of Ireland.  The fund will hold a stake of at least 75 per cent across the portfolio of wind farms as a result of the transaction. Viridian’s Energia business will retain the minority interest in the portfolio and will continue to manage and operate the wind farms and to offtake substantially all of the electricity generated by them.

This is the first investment completed by the Irish Infrastructure Fund.  The fund, managed by AMP Capital, will seek up to €1 billion from global and Irish institutional investors, and has already secured €300 million from the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) and other Irish institutional investors.

AMP Capital Head of Infrastructure Europe Boe Pahari said: “We are very pleased to announce the completion of the Irish Infrastructure Fund’s first investment.

“Ireland benefits from one of the most attractive wind resources in Europe, with exposure to the prevailing south-westerly winds of the Atlantic Ocean making it an exceptional location for wind energy generation,” he said.

Peter Baillie, Managing Director Energia Renewables, commented: “Energia is delighted to welcome the Irish Infrastructure Fund as a strategic investment partner in its renewables business. This is a strong vote of confidence in Energia and in the Irish wind industry. We look forward to leveraging this investment through the continued growth and development of our significant portfolio of renewable assets across Ireland.

“Energia Group is one of the most significant contributors to the achievement of Ireland’s renewable targets. We have invested €200m to date and now have a 24% market share of operational wind generation throughout Ireland under contract (500MW). Our most recent projects include Corkermore and Drumlough Hill Wind Farms in County Donegal, Caherdowney in Cork and Crighshane and Church Hill in County Tyrone.”

AMP Capital whose role is to acquire and manage the fund’s portfolio of assets, will continue to focus on infrastructure assets which underpin the Irish economy with the objective of preserving and enhancing long-term value for institutional investors in the fund.

The fund provides institutional investors globally with a unique opportunity to invest in significant Irish infrastructure assets.
“We continue to progress an active deal pipeline consistent with our strategy of investing in quality Irish infrastructure assets across a range of sectors.  We see this transaction as potentially the first in a number of additional investments in the renewable energy space in Ireland,” Mr Pahari concluded.

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