HgCapital unloads wind farm developer RidgeWind to Blue Energy

A £250 million cleantech acquisition has seen private equity firm HgCapital dispose of its wind portfolio.

Blue Energy, a UK-based renewable energy investors and developer, has snapped up HgCapital’s wind portfolio, which includes developer RidgeWind.

The £250 million purchase is part of Blue Energy’s plans to launch further ‘significant’ UK onshore wind acquisitions in 2013.

Newly-acquired RidgeWind was established in 2003 and is reportedly one of the UK’s leading independent onshore wind farm developers. It has a portfolio of 45MW projects in late-stage construction and 132MW which have planning permission.

HgCapital, which has en emphasis on renewable energy, first became involved with RidgeWind back in 2007 when it acquired a ‘substantial’ equity stake in the Oxfordshire-based developer. The deal was made through the firm’s renewable energy fund, Hg Renewable Power Partners.

The renewables fund was set up in 2004 and then went on to achieve a first close of €303 million in 2006. The fund is currently in its realisation stage, a process which has already seen it divest three UK wind farms to Munich Re in August 2012.

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Tom Murley, head of HgCapital’s Renewable Energy Team, comments, ‘For the second time in less than a year, the RidgeWind sale confirms that our focused investment strategy is delivering our investors returns at the high end of our target range.

‘In RidgeWind we saw the core elements of value creation: a strong team with a focus on larger sites with the best wind resources and the ability to create and manage an industrial scale UK wind business.’

Two RidgeWind projects are soon to become operational within the coming two months. Its Hall Farm wind farm in Yorkshire will go live in the next week whilst its Wandylaw wind farm in Northumberland is expected to be completed in March.

Under the terms of the acquisition, the RidgeWind team will be integrated into Blue Energy. All RidgeWind developments will continue but under the Blue Energy banner.

Blue Energy CEO Chris Dean adds, ‘This transaction is an important milestone for the growth of Blue Energy and demonstrates our strong commitment to the UK onshore wind sector.

‘Blue Energy has ambitious growth plans and we aim to progress further transactions of a similar nature in the UK wind sector this year.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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