UK-based fund manager Equitix has secured its first investment in an offshore wind farm following a £558 million ($748.1 million; €630.9 million) deal.
The group has bought 40 percent of the 317MW Sheringham Shoal project from Norwegian utility Statkraft, joining Statoil (40 percent) and the Green Investment Group (20 percent) as owners of the site. The project off the Norfolk coast of England has been operational since 2012.
The investment has been made through Equitix’s fourth fund, which closed on its hard-cap of £750 million in July. The vehicle, which has a targeted internal rate of return of 9 percent, was 75 percent invested as at the end of October and was generating a multiple of 1.48x. Equitix has now begun fundraising for a fifth fund.
While Equitix’s portfolio comprises renewable energy assets across the spectrum including solar, onshore wind, waste, tidal energy and offshore transmission links, Sheringham Shoal is its first ownership of an offshore wind farm. Equitix Fund IV has also invested in the HS1 rail link, the M25 widening, and social housing and student accommodation assets.
The Sheringham Shoal stake became available in September 2016 after Statkraft announced it would divest its offshore wind assets following its move a year earlier to stop investing in the sector, citing capital constraints. The divestment plan was completed this week after the company followed up on the Sheringham Shoal sale with the offloading of its 30 percent share in the 402MW Dudgeon project to China Resources for £555 million.