Invenergy buys Abengoa's Palomas wind farm

In a move to aid Abengoa in offloading debt, Invenergy has made its first investment into the Latin American power sector.

Invenergy has closed $135 million in financing to acquire the Campo Palomas wind farm in Salto, Uruguay, from an Abengoa subsidiary. 

Abengoa selected the Inter-American Development Bank to structure long-term financing by the end of 2015, but the Spanish developer's liquidity troubles led state-owned utility Usinas & Transmisiones Eléctricas (UTE) to seek another investor to carry the project. 

Market sources told us that, under the new arrangement, the Inter-American Investment Corporation provided $67 million of project A-loan financing, with Norwegian financial services group DNB putting up $68 million in its role as mandated lead arranger and B-loan participant. The new round of financing will be used to partly repay an existing $65 million bridge loan from DNB, according to data from  IIassets.com  .   

With the $135 million, Invenergy will also buy out Abengoa's existing equity stake. 

The acquisition is Invenergy's first investment in the Latin American power sector and the first transaction involving the IDB since its merger with the IIC in 1 January. 

Campo Palomas is currently under construction and is scheduled to enter operations in February 2017. The farm is expected to generate 264GWh of electricity backed by 70MW of power, with UTE as the offtaker for its full capacity under a 20-year lease agreement.

Through the sale, Abengoa reported that it has been released from $37.5 million of debt and associated guarantees. Subsidiary Temya Uruguay will continue to implement project construction worth $49 million, the company said in a statement. 

Abengoa said the sale of Campo Palomas is part of its divestment strategy “and represents further progress in the feasibility process in which the company is currently carrying out”. Other recent Abengoa sales include the divestment of its stake in the Shams-1 power plant, in the United Arab Emirates, and the sale of an 80 percent stake in a San Antonio water pipeline project . It is also selling properties, including its former headquarters in Madrid. 

Law firms White & Case and Hughes and Hughes advised the sponsor and Clifford Chance and Ferrere advised the lenders. Invenergy was also advised on the debt transaction by Spanish firm Voltiq.