GDF Suez sells stake in Canadian wind, solar projects

PARIS Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:55am EST

Logo of GDF Suez during a news conference in Paris December 16, 2010. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Logo of GDF Suez during a news conference in Paris December 16, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau

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PARIS (Reuters) - French gas firm GDF Suez (GSZ.PA) said it would sell a 60 percent stake in its Canadian wind and solar projects, which has an enterprise value of 1.5 billion euros, as part of its debt reduction efforts.

Japan's Mitsui (8031.T) and Fiera Axium Infrastructure are buying the stake, while GDF will remain a minority shareholder and operate the wind and solar parks.

Once completed, the parks will generate 680 megawatts of power in British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The projects include already operational wind farms with a capacity of 363 megawatts, and a further 317 megawatts of wind and solar capacity expected to start operating between 2013 and 2014.

"This transaction represents an excellent example of monetizing value created through our investments, alongside retaining the upside from future renewable developments and from our operations and maintenance experience," said GĂ©rard Mestrallet, GDF Suez's chairman and chief executive in a statement.

The deal will reduce GDF Suez's net debt by 1 billion euros, the company said.

(Reporting by Leila Abboud; editing by Christian Plumb and Jason Neely)

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