Impax fund buys two Finnish wind power projects
* Impax buys wind projects from Fortum, Metsahallitus
* Sale part of Fortum strategy to focus on other renewables
LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Impax Asset Management said one of its energy funds had agreed to buy two wind power projects in Finland, its first investment in a country where the market is just starting to grow.
The sellers are Finnish utility Fortum, with 51 percent, and state-owned land administrator Metsahallitus with 49 percent. The planned capacity of the projects and the price were not disclosed.
"Given the early stage of the Finnish wind market, we see this portfolio as an excellent foundation asset for our wind investment programme in the region," Daniel von Preyss, managing director at Impax, said on Thursday in a statement.
The sale is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, and Impax said it would raise project financing for construction of the projects, which are at the pre-construction stage.
Both will be part of a planned 50 megawatt wind park with of a total of 17 plants to be located in an area near the municipalities of Kittilä and Sodankylä.
The Impax New Energy Investors II fund bought the projects to add to its existing portfolio of over 200 megawatts of wind projects in construction and operation in France, Germany and Poland, as well as solar photovoltaic investments in Italy.
The fund, which closed in August 2011, has 330 million euros ($435 million) under management for renewable energy investment.
"This is a key market for Impax, and we target follow-on acquisitions as the market continues to grow," Von Preyss said.
Fortum said the sale was part of its strategy to focus on other renewables including hydropower, biofuels, solar and wave power.
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