GDF SUEZ has entered into an agreement to sell a 60% equity interest in its 680MW Canadian renewable generation portfolio to Mitsui & Co and a consortium led by Fiera Axium Infrastructure.
The portfolio, which is valued in excess of C$2 billion (US$2 billion), consists of 363MW of operating wind facilities, and an additional 317MW of wind and solar capacity which is expected to begin commercial operation between 2013 and 2014. All projects are supported by power purchase agreements with provincial utilities and are located in Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia.
As part of the transaction, C$1.1 billion of project finance was successfully raised by Japan Bank of International Cooperation, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company.
Following the sale, GDF Suez will remain as the main shareholder retaining a 40% interest while Mitsui & Co and the consortium will each hold a 30% stake in the new joint venture. GDF SUEZ will also continue to operate and maintain these assets.
Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ commented: “This is an important new joint venture in which GDF SUEZ will have a significant shareholding, reflecting the continued importance of the Canadian renewable market to the group. This transaction represents an excellent example of monetising value created through our investments, alongside retaining the upside from future renewable developments and from our operations and maintenance experience.”
In addition to the joint venture, GDF Suez will continue to develop its own pipeline of renewable projects in Canada.