Neoen has signed an agreement to sell a 95% stake in the Le Berger and Les Beaux Monts wind farms in France. The transaction will be based on an enterprise value of close to €29 million for 100% of the projects, or €0.7 million/MW. The net capital gain will be approximately €28 million, which will be recognized in 2021 EBITDA.
Construction of the two wind farms – Le Berger in the Meuse département and Les Beaux Monts in the Yonne département – has just started and they are expected to come into service in 2023. Both will benefit from power sales tariffs that are fixed for 20 years.
Neoen will retain a 5% stake in these assets, oversee their construction and maintenance, and continue to manage relations with local communities. Neoen will also be able to buy back the project companies after 31 years of operation, with the current buyer also having an option to sell them at the same point. This buy back would provide Neoen with the opportunity to lead the subsequent repowering of these projects, in line with its strategy.
The transaction remains subject to the customary conditions precedent and is expected to close by the end of 2021.
This is the third farm-down transaction completed by Neoen following the sale of its entire interests in four operating solar power plants in France: Grabels (Hérault) and Lagarde (Vaucluse), completed in early November 2021, and Lugos (Gironde) and Miremont (Haute-Garonne), signed in early December. In 2021 as a whole, Neoen will therefore have sold four solar and two wind farms with total capacity of almost 80 MW, for an enterprise value of close to €89 million. The net proceeds from these total or partial disposals will be around €47 million.
These deals are aligned with Neoen’s farm-down policy of selectively selling all of, or a majority stake, in projects or assets from its secured portfolio. By increasing the Group’s financial capacity, these farm-down transactions will help to fund the construction of new assets. As previously announced, the contribution made by net gains on these farm-down transactions will not exceed 20% of 2021 EBITDA. Neoen is reiterating its 2021 EBITDA target of between €295 million and €310 million. It is also restating that the volume of projects sold as part of its farm-down policy under the plan out to 2025 will not exceed 20% of the gross annual growth of its secured portfolio.
Xavier Barbaro, Chairman and CEO of Neoen, said: “This transaction successfully concludes our first round of project Farm-Down transactions. In 2021, these sales have given us new financial resources that will help to fund our strong growth. We have also shown that it is possible to crystallise the value Neoen adds in its capacity as a developer while maintaining a long-term commitment to its projects and local stakeholders. The option to regain ownership of these projects means we have the opportunity to repower them ourselves, a core part of our strategy.”