Barclays mandated for Turkish wind power firm Polat sale - sources

ISTANBUL, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Shareholders of Polat Enerji, one of Turkey’s largest wind energy producers, have mandated Britain’s Barclays for the sale of the company, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

PSP Investments, one of Canada’s biggest pension funds, holds 45% of Polat Enerji, French EDF Energies Nouvelles own 45% and the remaining 10% is held by Batiyel Enerji, owned by Turkish businessman Adnan Polat.

All three shareholders want to divest their stakes in Polat Enerji, the sources said.

“A local company is interested in the asset,” said one source familiar with the matter, adding that talks with the potential buyer were at an advanced stage.

Polat Holding, EDF and Barclays did not immediately respond to questions from Reuters. PSP Investments did not comment.

Polat Enerji was established in 2000 to produce electricity from renewable energy resources. The company, which operates 509 MW installed power in wind plants, set up its first wind power plant in 2008.

Wind and other renewable power plants are supported by the Turkish government. It pledges to buy, through a feed-in-tariff scheme, unsold electricity produced by renewable power plants from fixed dollar prices for their first 10 years of operation.

The current scheme applies to all plants built until the end of this year. It is expected to be replaced by another scheme, likely with purchase guarantees at a lower price, according to an industry source who is not involved in the sale.

Guaranteed purchase prices, which have supported a boom in Turkish renewable power investment, have made wind energy a lucrative business, the source said.

“I assume the plants will be profitable even after the scheme runs out. If they have a buyer this is an opportunity to cash out” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The company’s Soma wind power plant, with 240 MW installed power, does not benefit from the government scheme on purchase guarantees. However, its other three wind power plants will benefit from it until 2023.

Polat Enerji also holds permits to build wind farms with up to 573 MW capacity, according to data from Turkey’s Wind Energy Association (TUREB). The company does not publish financial data. (Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun Editing by Daren Butler and Dominic Evans)