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    F2i buys Villar Mir's renewables portfolio with Crédit Agricole and takes over its trading company


    August 16, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      F2i and Crédit Agricole have signed an agreement to acquire Grupo Villar Mir's portfolio of 483 megawatts (MW) of wind power in Spain and, in addition, the Italian infrastructure fund will acquire the group's electricity trading company, Energya VM (EVM), according to both firms, which did not specify the amount of the transaction.

      Specifically, the agreement involves the acquisition of a total of 53 MW in operation and a portfolio of wind projects in an advanced stage of development of 430 MW, located in northern Spain.

      F2i, through Fondo V-Fondo de Infraestructuras Sostenibles, will acquire 60% of the wind portfolio, while the remaining 40% will be held by Credit Agricole Assurances, F2i's current partner in EF Solare.

      In this way, F2i expands its presence in the renewables market in Spain, where it is already present through Renovalia, a company it acquired in 2019 and which has a photovoltaic installed capacity currently of around 200 MW and projects under construction or at an advanced stage of development for an additional 1,200 MW.

      In addition, in Italy, through its subsidiaries EF Solare and Sorgenia, it operates more than 1,300 MW of installed wind, photovoltaic and plant biomass capacity.

      F2i and Crédit Agricole Assurances indicated that the geographic expansion of renewable generation allows them to "diversify regulatory and market risk while taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the Spanish market, characterized by an abundance of natural resources, both solar and wind, a wide availability of land in a rural context of low population density, and a simple and efficient regulatory framework and authorization processes."

      Along with this wind energy portfolio, F2i will also acquire a 40% stake in EVM, the Villar Mir Group's trading company, as well as a short-term option to acquire the remaining 60%, laying the groundwork for the development of an integrated business in the electricity sector also outside Italy's borders.

      The deal represents the fourth investment by the firm's Fund V, which, since its launch a year ago, has already raised around E1.3 billion, out of a target of E1.5 billion.

      F2i CEO Renato Ravanelli said that with this transaction the firm is taking "an important step towards consolidation in the renewable energy market in Spain."

      "The acquisition of Villar Mir's wind farms complements the solar activity in one of the most promising renewable energy markets in Europe and lays the foundations for a European renewable asset portfolio, which is increasingly strategic in the current macroeconomic and geopolitical context," he said.

      For his part, Crédit Agricole Assurances CEO Philippe Dumont was "very enthusiastic" about this new partnership with F2i, following joint investments in Italy.

      "This new acquisition in renewables will benefit from Renovalia's know-how as a developer of greenfield projects. This investment is fully in line with Crédit Agricole Group's climate commitments and will contribute to reaching our target of 14 GW of installed capacity by 2025," he added.

      A sale process that began at the end of 2021

      This brings to a close a divestment process that Grupo Villar Mir initiated at the end of last year and in which a good number of companies in the sector were interested, given the importance of the renewable portfolio put up for sale.

      When the divestment process was launched, a sales figure of around 200 million euros was considered for all the assets, market sources told Europa Press.

      Villar Mir's energy subsidiary was created in 2008 with the aim of becoming a major player in the electricity business, both through renewable energy generation and commercialization.

      The sale of its energy business will also allow the Villar Mir Group, OHL's former largest shareholder, to alleviate its accounts, after the company has had to seek financial aid from SEPI.

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