Dutch pension fund PGGM and a renewable energy fund managed by DIF have refinanced their 24.8 percent share in the UK’s 367MW Walney offshore wind farm.
PGGM and Ampere Equity Fund refinanced the stake through their joint investment company OPW, a special purpose vehicle owned 60 percent by PGGM. DIF became managing director of Ampere in lieu of Triodos in 2013 after the fund was launched by four Dutch investors, including PGGM, in 2007.
OPW first invested in the Walney project in 2010, joining Danish wind giant Dong (50.1 percent) and SSE (25.1 percent) as shareholders. It refinanced 70 percent of this deal in 2012 for a total of £224 million ($277.4 million; €266 million), raising debt from the Green Investment Bank, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Siemens.
The company has now refinanced that initial debt transaction for an overall £186 million. GIB – which secured Walney as its first offshore wind deal – and Lloyds have dropped out of the deal while KfW-IPEX has joined the refinancing. The project has been operational since 2012.
“This transaction illustrates the continued appetite for financing minority participations in large offshore wind farms and also demonstrates the increasing maturity of the sector, with the lenders making facilities available for a longer term than the original financing closed in 2012,” said Rob Marsh, a partner at Norton Rose, which advised the lenders.
“Other projects financed on a ‘mini-perm’ basis in and around this period will no doubt take note,” he added.