AXA Private Equity, together with energy developer Neoen, has agreed to acquire Poweo ENR group, the renewable energy arm of Austrian electricity company Verbund.
The deal will see AXA and Neoen acquire all of Poweo, which has more than 120MW of renewable power projects which include a large portfolio of wind, solar and biomass assets under development in France, Italy and Poland.
In a second phase of investment, AXA will retain the wind assets in operation in France, while Neoen will retain the PV solar farms in France, the assets under development and Poweo’s position regarding the offshore wind consortium, a statement said.
“We take great satisfaction in taking part in this operation alongside neoen, while leveraging our current Kallista Energy renewable platform. This acquisition will significantly increase our installed wind capacity in France,” said Mathias Burghardt, head of infrastructure at AXA.
Xavier Barbaro, chief executive of Neoen, said, “The renewable energy sector in France and in Europe is entering a phase of concentration.
“Neoen intends to be one of the leading aggregators of projects, assets, and talents, and the integration of one of the pioneers of the French renewable market is a first and important step on that path. Such operation also demonstrates Neoen’s ability to team up with top investors such as AXA Private Equity.”
Following the acquisition, AXA will acquire ten operating wind farms in Lorraine, Champagne, Burgundy and Languedoc to become the fourth largest wind farm operator in France, taking AXA’s renewable capacity to 600MW.
The deal follows several investments made by the firm in the renewable energy sector in Europe, including a renewable platform developed with the Tozzi Group in Italy in 2007 and the acquisition in 2009 of Babcock & Brown’s wind farm portfolio in France, renamed Kallista.
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