Ardian sells French wind developer Kallista for €223m

Canadian renewables firm Boralex snaps up the 163MW operating portfolio and 170MW pipeline.

Ardian has sold French wind energy developer Kallista Energy Investment and its 163MW operating portfolio to Canadian renewables company Boralex for €223.4 million.

Boralex agreed to buy 100 percent of Kallista, its portfolio of French wind projects and its 170MW pipeline, for €129.4 million in equity and the assumption of €94 million in project debt. The transaction was funded using a revolving credit facility, Boralex said in a statement.

Ardian, a fund manager based in France, acquired Kallista in 2009, investing from its third infrastructure fund, the €1.75 billion AXA Infrastructure Fund III. At the time, Ardian operated as the private equity arm of French insurer AXA before spinning off in 2013. The firm’s original investment  in Kallista was not disclosed and Ardian declined to comment.

Under Ardian’s ownership, Kallista doubled in size. According to a statement issued by the French fund manager, the company also specialises in repowering, which entails replacing old windmills with new, more powerful turbines and more advanced technology that enable Kallista to at least double energy production.

Following the transaction, which is expected to close by end of June, Ardian will pay Kallista Energy employees at least one month’s salary as a bonus for the company’s performance during the nine-year holding period.

The Kallista sale comes as Ardian is planning several new strategies. The firm is known to be raising its debut Americas infrastructure fund, which has reportedly surpassed its $550 million target and as of February had raised $550 million. It also recently tapped Ares EIF Group’s Mark Voccola to fill the newly created role of managing director and co-head of Ardian Infrastructure US, in August. He will join Stefano Mion, who is also co-heading Ardian’s US infrastructure group.

After the US vehicle holds final close, the firm is reportedly planning to launch its fifth European infrastructure fund, which will target €4 billion. Ardian is still investing that fund’s €2.65 billion predecessor.

“We have a strong commitment to the energy renewable sector and we are continuously looking to renew, diversify and develop our renewable energy portfolio,” Ardian’s head of infrastructure, Mathias Burghardt, said in the statement. “Our plan is to pursue this development strategy, notably in the US, Latin America and Scandinavia,” he added.

For Boralex, the acquisition brings its French wind portfolio to 772MW – one of the largest in the country – and its global wind portfolio to 1.6GW. The Canadian renewables company said it expects Kallista’s portfolio to add €23 million of EBITDA based on anticipated results and in accordance with French accounting principles.

This deal follows a €73 million acquisition in January in partnership with Natixis-sponsored Cube Infrastructure, for three wind farms in France. Cube Infrastructure holds a 30 percent stake in Boralex.