Saturday 22 October 2016

NTR teams with Chinese firm in race to buy UK's Velocita

Published 20/05/2016 | 02:30

NTR chief executive Rosheen McGuckian
NTR chief executive Rosheen McGuckian

Irish energy firm NTR is close to sealing a deal to acquire UK-based windfarm group Velocita in conjunction with a Chinese joint venture partner.

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It's believed that if they succeed in buying the company, NTR and Chinese wind turbine firm Envision Energy will split up Velocita.

The Irish firm would take control of its assets in the UK, while Envision would acquire Velocita's assets in France, it's thought.

NTR and Envision are among the final bidders for Velocita, with Finnish firm Fortum also in the running.

Velocita's UK assets include one operational windfarm in Scotland, but Velocita has a huge portfolio of planned projects. It has a 12 megawatt operational windfarm in Scotland, as well as a 14 megawatt windfarm in France. It also has projects in construction phase, including a three windfarms in France that will generate a total of 136 megawatts, and two in Scotland with a total of 42 megawatts of planned output.

A further 229 megawatt portfolio of projects will have reached financial close and entered construction over the next year, according to industry publication 'SparkSpread', which first reported the planned sale of Velocita and NTR's involvement. NTR, which is headed by chief executive Rosheen McGuckian, declined to comment.

Velocita also has an 820 MW portfolio of development projects and is in advanced discussions for near-term bolt-on growth acquisitions in both France and Scotland that would double the size its current portfolio. Velocita's major shareholder is US private equity firm Riverstone Holdings.

In March, NTR closed a €250m energy equity fund, and has been looking to raise about €410m in debt from lenders.

The company has stated that it will target windfarm acquisitions and investments in Ireland and the UK.

NTR's energy fund secured a €50m investment from the Strathclyde Investment Fund, and €35m from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, which is controlled by the National Treasury Management Agency.

Irish Independent

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