BUSINESS

Boralex offers $400 million for French wind power company Enel Green Power

12/15/2014 05:11 EST | Updated 02/14/2015 05:59 EST
MONTREAL - Boralex will become the largest independent wind power producer in France after agreeing to purchase Enel Green Power France for $400 million.

The Quebec-based renewable energy producer said Monday that the acquisition will boost its overall net installed power output in Canada, the United States and France by some 25 per cent to 940 megawatts.

Boralex (TSX:BLX) said its output in France will increase to 455 MW from 259 MW, making it the country's largest independent producer and third-largest overall after two utilities.

It is buying 12 wind farms with a total installed capacity of 186 megawatts of power scattered across the country that have long-term power purchase agreements with the state-owned power utility.

One wind farm with 10 MW under construction is expected to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2015. Enel also has 310 MW of wind and solar energy projects under development, including 12 with up to 120 MW of mainly wind power that are expected to come on stream in the next few years.

Boralex is spending $422 million for Enel, including a wind farm that is expected to sell in late 2014 for $22 million. It will also invest about $14 million in capital expenditures for the project under construction.

The transaction will be paid in cash and be partly funded from a $290-million, long-term loan and the rest from the issuance of shares to National Bank Financial on behalf of a syndicate of underwriters.

Chief executive Patrick Lemaire said the deal, which Boralex said is one of the largest acquisitions by a Quebec-based company in France, will provide stable and recurring cash flows.

"Following this transaction, we will have approximately 50 per cent of our net installed capacity located in France and will be ideally positioned to continue expanding in the French marketplace and moving forward with our growth strategy," he said.

Enel is expected to generate about $43 million in annual pre-tax operating earnings before cost savings relating to the development of future projects.

The deal is expected to close in mid-January, with Enel's board voting on the transaction this week.

Enel Green, a subsidiary of Enel Green Power International, has 48 employees.

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