F2i snaps up 282MW Italian wind portfolio

The fund has boosted its presence in the wind sector to become one of the largest operators in the country, although its attempt to buy Alerion Clean Power continues to be delayed.

Italian infrastructure fund F2i has bought a portfolio of seven wind farms with a combined capacity of 282MW from local developer Veronagest.

The projects, all based in Sicily and Calabria, were all connected to the grid between December 2008 and June 2012, with the largest two plants each built with a capacity of 60MW. They have been financed by Unicredit, BNP Paribas, Natixis, BBVA and CDP.

The deal was made through F2i's Secondo Fondo, a vehicle that reached a €1.2 billion close in July 2015 and which also holds airport and healthcare interests. The acquisition brings F2i’s wind portfolio above 1GW and establishes the firm as one of Italy’s largest wind farm owners alongside ERG Renew.

F2i, whose largest shareholder is Italian state-owned investment bank CDP, said it hopes to foster the development of other large operators with its purchase. Other shareholders in F2i include Ardian, China Investment Corporation and Italy’s National Pension Service.

However, F2i’s efforts to further increase its asset base in Italy through its attempted buyout of Alerion Clean Power has met further roadblocks this week. The firm announced its intention alongside Edison in October to buy the developer for €107 million but it has been met with counter offers by Fri-El Green Power, which also controls the company’s board of directors.

The Italian Securities and Exchange Commission suspended as a “precautionary measure” the latest offer by Fri-El on Monday while it investigates the deal, delaying F2i’s own attempts to take full control of Alerion.