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Blackstone exits Mexico’s largest wind farm

A US energy group is paying $852m, including debt, to buy the 252MW Ventika wind project from the private equity firm.

The Blackstone Group has closed on a deal that sees it divest Mexico’s largest wind farm to San Diego-based Sempra Energy for an enterprise value of $852 million.

The 252MW Ventika wind project is located in Mexico’s Northeast province of Nuevo Leon. The facility, which started operating in April, consists of 84 turbines split between two separate plants, Ventika I and II.

Both have now been sold to Sempra subsidiary Infraestructure Energetica (Ienova) for $375 million of equity and $447 million of debt.

The project, which was majority-owned by Blackstone, was financed using 25 percent equity and 75 percent debt. It was developed by Fisterra Energy, which is owned by funds managed by Blackstone, and Mexican builder CEMEX. Other private investors committed $162 million through equity contributions and shareholder loans.

Blackstone's investment return on the project was not disclosed. The firm had not responded to a request for comment at press time. Fisterra Energy did not reply to a request for comment.

Ventika I and II have power-purchase agreements to supply energy to FEMSA, DEACERO, Tecnológico de Monterrey and Cemex facilities. Acciona Energy will provide operations and maintenance for 20 years.

Ienova, a company with $4 billion in assets in operation or under construction in Mexico, and parent group Sempra have been expanding their operations in Latin America.

In June, Ienova, along with TransCanada, won the rights to develop an underwater pipeline connecting south Texas with Mexico’s Tuxpan port in the Gulf of Mexico. In July, Sempra said it would pull back on a share buyback plan and use that capital to finance the $2.2 billion project.

Blackstone has over $9 billion of equity invested across the world in different sectors within the energy industry.