Tuesday 16 January 2018

NTR closes windfarm fund and targets debt

NTR chief executive Rosheen McGuckian
NTR chief executive Rosheen McGuckian
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Irish firm NTR is in talks with a number of financial institutions, including the pillar banks in Ireland, about debt funding possibilities linked to its new €250m wind energy equity fund.

The company is also targeting a total windfarm investment on the island of Ireland of at least €300m over the next couple of years, equating to about 100 megawatts of energy output in the single energy market.

NTR chief executive Rosheen McGuckian said that a minimum of €80m of the fund's equity has been earmarked for single energy market projects here.

If the minimum of €80m of equity was deployed, that would result in between up to €250m of debt being attached to it, bringing the total spend on those projects to as much as €330m.

NTR expects to raise about €410m in debt from lenders, bringing to €670m the total debt and equity that will be available to the fund to invest in energy projects in Ireland and the UK. The company will build out projects that already have planning and connections in place, and then manage the windfarms for 25 years.

It acquired four assets with the fund last year, and will probably complete the acquisition of two more within a few weeks.

NTR has just closed the wind investment fund, and yesterday confirmed that €50m had been raised from Strathclyde Pension Fund, and €35m from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, which is controlled by the National Treasury Management Agency.

NTR previously announced that Legal & General Capital would take about a 47pc stake in the fund, while NTR has itself invested €50m.

The Glasgow-based Strathclyde Pension Fund has over £15bn (€19bn) under management and has a range of direct investments across the renewable energy sector.

It's one of Europe's top 50 pension funds and invests on behalf of 200 employers, including local councils, colleges, police, a range of public service groups, as well as some private employers.

Ms McGuckian said she was pleased with the fundraising.

"We could probably have got more, but we had decided to focus on the right amount for the opportunities that were coming over the next two years," she said.

NTR demerged its business last year.

Its European wind business became a new company but retained the NTR name.

Other legacy assets were hived off into a new company called Altas Investments.

Irish Independent

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