Impax adds French wind assets, moves into Poland

The London-listed renewable energy investor has added to its burgeoning French wind portfolio with a collection of assets acquired from Eolia Renovables. It has also acquired its first asset in Poland, a market it intends to focus on over the next 18 months.

Impax Asset Management, which closed its second renewable energy private equity fund on €330 million last month, has paid an undisclosed sum to buy a portfolio of operating, ready-to-build and development-stage wind farms from Eolia Renovables, the Spanish renewable power developer.

The mainly French assets in the portfolio, which adds up to around 100 megawatts of potential generation capacity, are located in the north and west of the country.

“This deal is in line with our strategy of a gradual sale of assets in our portfolio, which we began last spring with the sale of various developments in Mexico,” said Cristóbal Rodríguez, chief financial officer of N+1 Eolia, the manager of Eolia Renovables, in a statement.

Peter van Egmond Rossbach, Impax’s head of private equity, added that the deal would “fill out” a regional strategy covering a geographical arc between Troyes, Amiens and Poitiers. The deal builds on Impax’s Epuron platform in France, which resulted from the acquisition of wind farms and a large wind development pipeline from German solar company Conergy in December last year.

The deal struck with Eolia also includes a single, 6-megawatt asset in Poland near the German border – the first asset in the country acquired by Impax’s private equity infrastructure funds. “We are pleased to move into Poland, a key target country, with an operating asset purchase,” said Rossbach in the statement. “And we hope to add to this pilot effort in the coming 18 months with additional acquisitions.”

Impax was advised on the deal by law firms Norton Rose and Gomez Acebo y Pombo and financial services firm Ernst & Young; while Eolia Renovables was advised by law firms Garrigues and CGR Legal.

Impax, whose holding company is listed on the London Stock Exchange, closed its New Energy Investors II fund on €330 million, within its target range of €300 million to €400 million. Founded in 1988, the firm manages over £2 billion (€2.3 billion; $3.1 billion) across a range of funds and segregated accounts.