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Private Equity Palisade-Northleaf-EnergyAustralia

Published on May 14th, 2013 | by Ted Liu

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Palisade and Northleaf acquire 75% of EnergyAustralia’s Waterloo Wind Farm

Palisade Investment Partners and Northleaf Capital Partners have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire from EnergyAustralia 75% majority shareholding in the 111MW Waterloo wind farm, near Clare, South Australia.

Under agreement, Palisade and Northleaf have acquired a 75% equity interest in the operational wind farm, simultaneously with a re-financing of the asset, realising total proceeds of AUS $228 million for EnergyAustralia.

The Waterloo wind farm consists of 37 Vestas V90-3.0MW turbines.

Palisade and Northleaf also have the option to participate in a planned 18MW expansion of the wind farm, currently being assessed for local government planning approval.

Fomrerly known as TRUenergy, EnergyAustralia, a subsidiary of China Light & Power/The CLP Group (中電集團), will retain a 25% equity interest in the wind farm and has signed a long-term contract with the jointly-owned entity to provide asset management services and maintain its commitment to engagement with the local community.

EnergyAustralia will also continue to be a long term off-taker for both energy and Large-scale Generation Certificates produced by the wind farm. As an energy retailer, EnergyAustralia purchases these certificates in order to meet its obligations under the Renewable Energy Target Scheme.

EnergyAustralia and Palisade have also signed a development partnership Memorandum of Understanding, paving the way for both partners to collaborate on new renewable energy projects to meet future increases in market demand.

“This transaction enables EnergyAustralia to retain off-take arrangements for renewable energy and provide asset management services for Waterloo, while liberating capital to invest in future projects,” said EnergyAustralia Executive Manager Business Development, Ross Edwards.

“Palisade is looking forward to working alongside EnergyAustralia to continue the build out of our existing renewable energy and generation infrastructure portfolio in Australia,” said Palisade Managing Director, Ian Mitchell. “Waterloo wind farm represents an exciting additional investment opportunity for our investors and we’re encouraged by the pipeline of investment opportunities that EnergyAustralia has to offer.”

“Direct investment in mature, low risk wind energy assets like the Waterloo wind farm is consistent with Northleaf’s investment strategy and offers significant potential for stable, long-term returns,” said Jamie Storrow, Managing Director and co-head of Northleaf’s infrastructure investment program. “We look forward to maintaining a long-term partnership with EnergyAustralia.”

Asset-backed non-recourse financing for the transaction has been provided by a number of large banks with the first tranche lasting for five years.

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About the Author

Ted is an editor of CVCA News and Research Director for CVCA - Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association. Ted has been following Canadian venture capital and private equity industry since 1993.



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