Infrastructure investment giant Babcock & Brown has
fired the starting pistol on the race to acquire its European
wind farm portfolio after announcing that it has appointed
Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan as advisors for the sale.
The company's wind energy division - Babcock
& Brown Wind Partners (BBWP) - is one of the largest
wind energy operators in Europe with farms in Spain, Portugal,
Germany, Italy and France - and, according to reports, any
deal is likely to be worth between $3.5bn and $4bn. BBWP said
that any deal would aim to - "capture currently unrecognised
value" - in some of its European assets.
Sources close to the sale process said that the company expected
to see substantial interest in the assets from European energy
companies under pressure to meet EU targets to ensure that
20 per cent of member states' energy comes from renewable
sources by 2020.
Miles George, chief executive officer at BBWP confirmed that
that the company has - "already received very strong
interest from prospective purchasers" - adding that the
company was aiming to agree any potential sale within six
The announcement is the latest indication that consolidation
is beginning to affect the European wind energy industry.
Earlier this year, UK-based energy giant Scottish and Southern
Energy (SSE) sparked speculation that many independent
wind farm operators would be acquired by larger energy providers,
when it agreed to pay €1bn for Ireland-based firm Airtricity
In related news, the company has confirmed that, as it seeks
to divest its wind portfolio in Europe, it is seeking to build
its first wind farm in Canada. According to Reuters
reports, government-owned utility Manitoba Hydro is
in talks with BBWP to develop a $582m 300MW wind farm in Winnipeg
- capable of generating enough power for around 90,000 homes.