Friday 20 October 2017

Quinn's large windfarm in North is put up for sale

Facility formerly owned by Quinn Insurance could fetch €116m

Financial adviser Investec is handling the sale of the the 54-megawatt windfarm at Slieve Rushen in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh
Financial adviser Investec is handling the sale of the the 54-megawatt windfarm at Slieve Rushen in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Northern Ireland's largest windfarm – previously owned by Quinn Insurance – has been put up for sale by administrator Grant Thornton.

It's likely that it could fetch somewhere in the region of £80m to £100m (€93m to €116m).

The 54-megawatt windfarm at Slieve Rushen in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, is being sold more than a year after the administrators were put in charge of the operation.

The windfarm was initially constructed in 1994, making it one of the first ever such operations on the island.

In 2008, it was upgraded using 18 new Vestas wind turbines. The revamp boosted its output capability from 9MW to 54MW.

Financial adviser Investec is handling the sale of the operation and has been circulating documentation to potential buyers.

Will Ainger, the co-editor of industry publication 'Sparkspread', said the Slieve Rushen is generating annual revenue of £17m (€19.9m) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £15m (€17.5m), according to the sale document.

He added that the windfarm sells its output to Ireland's single electricity market, and receives payments through Northern Ireland renewable obligation certificates and levy exemption certificates.

It also has an offer of a 14-year contract to supply power output to an electricity company which would then be sold on to customers.

The sale of the windfarm comes after a number of other recent deals in the sector.

In April, two windfarm projects in Tipperary and Cork were sold by Ireland-based but US-owned Element Power to Blackrock NTR Renewable Fund – a joint venture between US fund manager Blackrock and Irish utility firm NTR.

In 2011, US firm Liberty acquired a 51pc stake in Quinn Insurance, paying €102m. IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, took control of the remainder as part of a €200m recapitalisation of the insurance arm.

Liberty has recently said that it would like to gain full control of the former Quinn Insurance business after IBRC was put into liquidation in February by the Government.

Irish Independent

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