Greencoat Renewables 'reviewing' mainland European acquisition opportunities

Greencoat Renewables 'reviewing' mainland European acquisition opportunities

Greencoat Renewables, the State-backed wind farm operator, has said it is currently "reviewing" a number of acquisition opportunities in mainland Europe.

Up until July, Greencoat - which is part-owned by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund - was restricted from buying wind farm assets outside of Ireland. Here, it owns 11 wind farms, having added to its portfolio with a project in Laois earlier this week.

The company said investments outside of Ireland will provide "further diversification of generation resource from renewables and give the group access to a considerably larger pool of assets from which to seek best value".

"The outlook for the business remains positive, with an attractive pipeline of growth opportunities in Ireland and the ability to make opportunistic acquisitions elsewhere in Europe," said Greencoat's non-executive chairman Ronan Murphy.

Greencoat said many of the assets it is mulling, on the continent, are currently owned by parties with whom its investment management arm, Greencoat Capital, has "strong existing relationships", providing the opportunity for "bilateral transactions".

"The group's position is further improved by the absence of currency risk when acquiring assets in Europe," Mr Murphy said.

Greencoat said it is mulling opportunities across Belgium, Finland, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

We are currently reviewing a number of these opportunities and are looking to leverage off the strong relationships we have with advisors and asset owners on the continent

He was speaking on the back of a strong set of financial results for the first six months of the year, showing a €3m increase in return on investments to just over €20m; a 22% rise in operating profit to €16.8m and a jump in post-tax profit from €11.7m to €13.7m.

"The Irish wind market remains a very attractive jurisdiction with both a stable and supportive regulatory regime.

"Over the past two years since listing, the company has become one of the largest owners of onshore wind assets in Ireland and has successfully positioned itself to take advantage of the increasing Irish and European secondary market opportunities, whilst contributing to deliver target returns to investors," he said.

The company also said it intends to boost its board, with the appointment of an additional non-executive director. It said the search is well-progressed and an appointment should be announced "in the foreseeable future".

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