FCC, the Madrid-based developer, has sold 51 percent of its energy business to Spanish investment bank Plenium Partners.
The unit owns 14 wind farms, with a 421.8 megawatts (MW) capacity, along with two solar thermal plants (totalling 100 MW) and two photovoltaic plants (with a capacity of 20 MW). The sale includes all of the wind assets as well as the group’s entire stakes in the photovoltaic and thermal plants, worth respectively 70 percent and 57.8 percent.
The transaction allows FCC to cut net interest-bearing debt by €763 million. This brings the group’s overall burden below €5 billion, enabling it to fulfil one objective stated in its latest Strategic Plan.
Last March, FCC announced its intention to refocus on environment and infrastructure assets – through €2.2 billion of non-core disposals – so as to deleverage its business by €2.7 billion. That involved restructuring the firm’s construction division, including downsizing production in Spain and divesting Austrian services provider Alpine Energie to private equity firm Triton Partners last summer.
The firm’s latest sale comes days after FCC completed the £381 million (€459 million; $630 million) debt refinancing of FCC Environment, its UK environmental services unit. It also closely follows the appointment of Javier Pérez Fortea to replaces Juan Béjar as chief executive of Globalvia, the infrastructure investor jointly formed by FCC and Spanish lender Bankia.
While explicitly aiming to sustain capital expenditure growth by investing in “businesses that are not capital intensive”, FCC is currently involved in a number of large-scale international projects, including Riyadh’s €6 billion new metro and a €1.1 billion subway in Panama – Central America’s first.
The company, which posted €9 billion in revenues in 2012, has earmarked €1.4 billion in capex in the period to 2015.