Business Irish

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Shareholders at NTR in line for €240m sale payout

Rosheen McGuckian, NTR
Rosheen McGuckian, NTR
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Irish renewable energy group NTR has up to €240m in its arsenal to return to shareholders following the sale of its last remaining US windfarms.

The company has sold its Post Rock and Lost Creek assets, 350 megawatt (MW) windfarms in Kansas and Missouri, to US investment company Pattern Energy for $244m (€222m).

The news will be welcomed by major NTR shareholders One51 and Nick Furlong's Pageant Holdings, who have been vocal critics of these assets.

The sale represents a total exit from the US market for NTR. It has sold 500 MW of wind assets in the past 12 months. From now on it will be focused on building windfarms in Ireland and the UK.

The net proceed from the US sale is €195m as there was some debt still attached to Post Rock and Lost Creek.

The company is also expecting a further €45m to come through later this year from its Osage wind project in Oklahoma, which was sold last April to US electricity co-operative Associated Electric.

A "liquidity event" is now likely, chief executive Rosheen McGuckian, pictured, confirmed, though the format this will take has not been decided. It could range from a dividend to a share redemption. This could allow dissatisfied shareholders to end their involvement with NTR. One51 and Pageant Holdings have both expressed a desire to exit the group.

"We took the decision to sell these assets now because following a review it was clear we had a seller's market," said Ms McGuckian.

"There are a whole host of new companies seeking wind assets in the US at the moment. Assets like ours, which have strong power purchasing agreements for the whole life of the projects, are very attractive to buyers seeking yield.

"We are exceptionally pleased with the outcome and the value achieved for our shareholders."

The sale divests NTR of its main revenue-generating asset. It will now enter an 18-month period of investing and building, Ms McGuckian said, when revenue will fall "dramatically".

It intends to triple its wind assets in Ireland and the UK over the next 18 months, from 50 MW to 150 MW. It is interested in buying construction-ready sites that already have planning permission and are approved for connection to the electricity grid.

NTR also owns non-renewable energy assets, including roads, a joint venture water treatment business and an energy storage unit.

Irish Independent

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