ENGIE and Crédit Agricole Assurances have reached an agreement to acquire from Canadian institutional investment manager, Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMco), a 97.33% stake of Eolia Renovables, one of the largest renewable power producers in Spain. The transaction covers the ownership and operation of 899 MW of operating assets (821 MW onshore wind and 78 MW photovoltaic) and a 1.2 GW pipeline of renewable projects.
This acquisition will allow ENGIE to boost its presence in the fast-growing Spanish renewables market and enable the Group to accelerate its growth in the sector and reach its target of 50 GW of renewable capacity by 2025.
The country’s National Energy Climate Plan, one of the most ambitious in Europe, targets 32% of renewable consumption by 2030 (compared to 20% in 2020) with 55 GW of additional renewable capacity planned and full decarbonization of the electricity sector by 2050.
Fully in line with Crédit Agricole Group’s commitments in favour of the climate, Crédit Agricole Assurances is continuing its commitment to a low-carbon economy through its investments in the energy transition. This acquisition will contribute to its objective of doubling its investments in renewable energies to enable, over time, an installed capacity of 11 GW, i.e., the average energy consumption of four million households per year.
In addition to ENGIE’s current 2.9 GW renewables portfolio in Iberia which includes the 1.7 GW hydroelectric portfolio the Group acquired from EDP in Portugal in 2020, this deal is another major step. It supports ENGIE’s ambition towards creating an integrated renewables platform in Iberia with complementary technologies while consolidating its existing partnership with Crédit Agricole Assurances.
Operating assets will be 40% owned by ENGIE and 60% by Crédit Agricole Assurances while ENGIE will develop and build the pipeline of projects. ENGIE will provide a complete range of services (O&M, Asset Management, Energy Management and Development services) for the full asset scope. Thanks to this acquisition, ENGIE will contribute to avoiding 726,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year, a figure set to increase through further development of wind and solar assets, allowing ENGIE to reinforce its commitment towards the environment.
The acquired assets benefit from a regulated scheme ensuring predictability of returns for the next ten years. The deal will have a €0.4 billion net financial debt impact for ENGIE.
“This acquisition of Eolia Renovables, one of the largest renewable players in Spain, is fully in line with our strategy which is to accelerate our investments in Renewables in our key markets while bringing our industrial and energy management expertise. The transaction will also allow the Group to support Spain in reaching its ambitious renewables and decarbonization goals,” Catherine MacGregor, ENGIE CEO, said.
“This new investment alongside our partner ENGIE will help Crédit Agricole Assurances to strengthen its presence in the energy transition. This acquisition is a new step further in our commitment to helping fight climate change, contributing to our objective to double our investments in renewable energies and reach a 11 GW installed capacity by 2025,” Philippe Dumont, Crédit Agricole Assurances CEO, added.
Eolia Renovables is a leading independent power producer in the Spanish renewable energy sector, engaged in the development, construction and operation of wind farms and solar photovoltaic plants. The Company currently manages 899 MW portfolio of renewable energy assets with long-term contracted revenues under the Spanish Renewables regulatory regime and has maintained an attractive renewables project pipeline of 1.2 GW in Spain.
AIMCo purchased a majority position in Eolia Renovables in 2019, and over the course of its holding period has implemented industry and governance best practices, including the recruitment of highly respected and qualified industry authorities to join AIMCo’s investment professionals on the board of directors. Working closely with Eolia’s strong management team, AIMCo expanded the number of employees at Eolia, adding core management capabilities that have helped the organization successfully meet the demands and challenges of a business that has grown rapidly through opportunistic M&A and in-house development.
“Since its acquisition of Eolia, AIMCo focused its efforts on collaborating with the management team in establishing a market leader. Today, Eolia Renovables is one of the largest independent renewable power producers in the country, with a proven track record of operational excellence and ESG best practices. Eolia’s success has meant that it has attracted significant market interest and the outcome of this sales process represents an outstanding financial outcome for AIMCo’s clients in support of their long-term investment objectives,” said Ben Hawkins, Senior Vice President, Infrastructure and Renewable Resources, at AIMCo. “Today’s announcement is indicative of the important role that the renewables sector plays within European energy markets. AIMCo remains committed to investing on behalf of our clients in the long-term potential of both renewable and broader energy transition opportunities globally. The partnership of ENGIE and CAA, two globally recognized leaders in clean energy development, are well-positioned to lead Eolia Renovables through the next chapters in the Company’s development,” he noted.
Completion of the transaction is expected by Q1 2022, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions including merger control clearance from relevant competition authorities.