UPDATE 1-Acciona seeks partner for foreign wind assets - source
* Hires Lazard to sell up to 49 pct of foreign wind assets
* Sale includes 2,300 megawatts of wind power
* Deal could be worth about 1.2 billion euros with debt (Adds valuation and background)
MADRID, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Spanish renewable energy firm Acciona has hired Lazard to find a buyer for up to 49 pct of its wind power assets outside Spain in a push to raise capital, a source with knowledge of the matter said.
The sale would include 2,300 megawatts of wind power, with assets in 15 countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Mexico and India, the source told Reuters on Wednesday.
Acciona declined to comment.
The standard wind power industry valuation is that each megawatt of installed capacity is worth 1.1 million euros, implying a total value for Acciona's foreign wind business of about 2.53 billion euros ($3.5 billion).
Investment banks have had the prospectus for the sale since December.
Acciona's balance sheet is under pressure following a series of painful energy reforms in Spain, including cuts on renewable energy subsidies and caps on profits.
While the sale of a minority stake in its foreign energy business would bring in cash for Acciona, the company would not be able to remove debt related to the assets from its balance sheet.
Acciona, which is due to present full-year results on Thursday, is facing a hit from the energy reforms of as much as 250 million euros, or nearly 20 percent of 2012 core earnings. ($1 = 0.7282 euros) (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Additional reporting by Jose Elias Rodriguez; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Erica Billingham)