UniCredit Is Said to Plan $1.2 Billion Sale of German Wind Farm

(Bloomberg) -- A subsidiary of UniCredit SpA is working on the sale of its Bard Offshore 1 wind farm in Germany’s portion of the North Sea, a transaction that may be valued at more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), people familiar with the deal said.

Ocean Breeze Energy GmbH & Co. is putting 100 percent of the project up for sale, according to two people who asked not to be named because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly about it. One of the people detailed the valuation. UniCredit, which owns Ocean Breeze, declined to comment.

The Bard Offshore 1 farm has a capacity to produce of 400 megawatts of power from 80 turbines. It was commissioned in 2013 after several years of delays. It has 16 years left of its power purchase agreement with the German government, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The facility was developed by Bard Engineering GmbH at a cost of 1.2 billion euros and financed by UniCredit and the European Investment Bank. Bard was restructured in 2013 after running into financial difficulties, leaving the asset in the hands of the Italian bank towards the end of that year. UniCredit wrote down 240 million euros related to Bard Offshore 1, according to its 2013 annual report.

The deal may receive interest from institutional investors seeking to tap into the stable cash flows from contracted electricity sales and energy companies with nearby projects, as they could run the wind farm by using its existing operations, according to one of the people. The turbines are located 100 kilometers (62 miles) off the coast of East Friesland in northwestern Germany, close to the Veja Mate and Albatros facilities.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is advising on the sale process, according to the people.

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