Blackstone Announces Sale of Majority Interest in WindMW to China Three Gorges; WindMW is Owner of Meerwind, One of Germany’s Largest Offshore Windfarms
Blackstone recently announced that Blackstone Energy Partners and affiliated private equity funds have entered into a definitive agreement to sell its majority interest in WindMW GmbH (“WindMW”), an offshore wind power joint-venture and owner of one of Germany’s largest offshore windfarms, “Meerwind,” to China Three Gorges Corporation (“China Three Gorges”), a global power company with extensive renewable power operations around the world. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Li Keqiang, the Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, and Angela Merkel, the Federal Chancellor of Germany.Situated off the German coast in the North Sea, the 80-turbine, 288 megawatt (“MW”) windfarm produces enough clean energy to power approximately 360,000 homes. Meerwind’s management team, led by CEO Jens Assheuer, designed, constructed, commissioned and operated the park in partnership with Blackstone since 2008. The windfarm was fully commissioned in February 2015.
WindMW’s management team will continue to operate the business under China Three Gorges ownership.“I am grateful to have partnered with the Blackstone team to make possible such a significant contribution to Germany’s clean power efforts,” said Jens Assheuer, Chief Executive Officer, WindMW. “We look forward to working together with China Three Gorges, with whom we share a strong commitment to developing and operating renewable energy projects globally.”Meerwind was the first German offshore wind project to be fully financed by private investors, one of the largest German offshore wind farm to achieve a full financial closing, and was first to close under Germany’s KfW financing program, which is focused on helping Germany meet its renewable energy targets by providing debt financing to greenfield energy projects. Meerwind was also the first European offshore wind project to be financed through a project bond.
“We are proud that Blackstone has played a leadership role in bringing such a landmark project to fruition,” said Sean Klimczak, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone. “Our team consistently looks for transformative projects that challenge and improve upon the status quo and Meerwind epitomizes that effort. We are pleased that the WindMW team will carry on their impactful work under the new ownership of China Three Gorges.”Jefferies, PJT Partners and Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisors to Blackstone. Gleiss Lutz acted as legal advisor to Blackstone.”