22 June 2015
Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised international wind farm developer PNE WIND AG (“PNE WIND”) on the approximately £100 million sale of its entire UK wind farm project pipeline. The deal marks PNE WIND’s largest transaction since the sale of the 900MW ‘Gode Wind’ offshore wind projects in the German North Sea and is the most notable deal in the UK wind power market in 2015.
Long-time WFW client PNE WIND’s British subsidiary PNE WIND UK’s project portfolio has a nominal capacity of approximately 1,130MW, with the purchaser having the option to acquire another 70MW once certain development milestones are met. The purchaser paid a portion of the purchase cost upfront, with the remaining balance to be paid as milestones in the development of the various projects are achieved. The employees of PNE WIND UK will be acquired alongside the project portfolio to continue the development of the various projects.
Cuxhaven, Germany-based PNE WIND specialises in the development, financing and operations of wind energy projects. Initially it was seeking an investor to help develop its ongoing projects in the UK, but instead decided to sell the entire portfolio. According to PNE WIND CEO Martin Billhardt, the sale “represents a milestone in our international development and strengthens our foundation for success”, and is “a significant step in the achievement of our EBIT guidance”.
The transaction was led by Udo Follrichs, PNE WIND Head of Business Development, together with Jan Messer, PNE WIND Head of Legal. WFW advised PNE WIND with a team led by Global Head of Energy, partner Evan Stergoulis in London. He was supported by senior associate Rhiannon McArdle, and associates Natalie Georgiou, Freddie Phillips, Craig Bruce and Jessica Greenwood.
London partner Evan Stergoulis, said: “This is a milestone deal not just for PNE WIND, but for the UK wind market. Not only because PNE is such a key player in the UK market, but also because it is the first sale the market has seen of pre-CfD sites. The very positive reaction and feedback from the investor market proves that despite the regulatory uncertainty that exists, the market still places a high valuation on top quality wind power assets and expertise.”