PKA sells German offshore wind stake after just three years

The Danish pension fund, which reaped over €134m from the exit, said it could not turn down the offer made by a Japanese consortium.

Danish pension fund PKA has sold its 22.5 percent stake in the 288MW Butendiek offshore wind farm in Germany in a deal worth Dkr 1 billion ($140.7 million; €134.5 million).

PKA sealed the deal with a Japanese consortium led by trading group Itochu just three years after it initially invested in the project alongside the Marguerite Fund, compatriot Industriens Pension and Germany’s Siemens. The project, which cost €1.3 billion in total, began operating in 2015. The sale by PKA is the only divestment from the project’s shareholders.

The Danish pension said it wasn’t actively looking to sell its share of the wind farm but explained that the offer it had received was hard to refuse, since it doubled the money it had initially invested in the asset in 2013. It added that PKA has achieved an annual return for its members of 25 percent since its investment in the project.

“Normally we would be in this type of infrastructure investment for the full life, typically 25 years,” said PKA’s chief executive Peter Damgaard Jensen. “But we were able to get a solid win for our members, and we seized the opportunity.”

PKA retains a significant interest in European offshore wind assets, with investments including the 258MW Burbo Bank Extension in the UK and the 400MW Anholt project in Denmark. The pension said it may invest the proceeds of the sale in new projects.

“With a gain of nearly Dkr 1 billion in just three years, we certainly can’t complain,” Jensen added. “We will continue to follow our growth strategy in alternatives – and our next investment may very well be a new offshore wind farm, where we can combine good returns to make a positive difference for the climate.”

PKA manages pensions for three pension funds in the social and health sector on behalf of 275,000 members. It aims to have 10 percent of its portfolio invested in climate-friendly projects by 2020.