Spain’s Acciona sells Endesa stake to Enel, gets 2,105 MW of hydro, wind

Spanish construction and energy company Acciona agreed to sell its 25 percent stake in Spanish utility Endesa to Italian utility Enel, receiving 8.2 billion euros (US$10.4 billion) in cash and 2,105 MW of wind and hydropower projects in Spain and Portugal valued at 2.9 billion euros (US$3.6 million).

Acciona said February 21 that it agreed to sell its 25 percent of Endesa in an 11.1 billion euro (US$14 billion) deal that makes it a leading global renewable energy producer while simultaneously cutting its debt by two-thirds. Enel will end up with 92.06 percent of Spain’s second-biggest utility.

Acciona will become the second-largest wind company in the world after receiving 1,248 MW of wind assets from Endesa, and the fourth-largest power utility in Spain with a total 6,516 MW of operating capacity. Acciona expects to close the deal before September, although management said it could close earlier if European and Spanish regulatory approval is received.

With the deal, Acciona acquired 175 MW of mini-hydropower and 682 MW of conventional hydroelectric projects.

�The conventional hydro assets, located in Spain on the rivers Cinca, Gallego and Aragon, will give Acciona access to a new technology with considerable strategic value, owing to the regularity of these assets’ energy production, which will offset the fluctuating production levels of wind power,� an Acciona statement said. �The hundred or so Endesa employees who currently work at the hydro plants affected by the agreement will join Acciona with all their employment rights intact.�

Acciona already owns 19 small hydro plants in Spain that total 58.79 MW. Those plants generate about 193 million kilowatt-hours annually.

The company plans to develop an additional 600 MW of capacity in 2009, and is to present a new business plan for its energy division once it has looked at Endesa’s renewable assets in more detail, management said.

Acciona bought Endesa with Enel in March 2007, when it carefully negotiated an option to sell its stake at what was then the going share price. (HNN 7/12/07) Endesa shares have since lost more than 40 percent of their value.

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