December 22, 2017 / 9:01 AM / in 5 months

Innogy enters U.S. wind market with 2 GW portfolio buy

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German energy group Innogy said on Friday it had signed a deal buy onshore wind power projects with more than 2 gigawatts capacity in the United States, its first acquisition in the world’s second-largest wind power market.

FILE PHOTO: Innogy logo in Essen, Germany, March 14, 2017. Reuters/Thilo Schmuelgen

The deal, for which no purchase price was announced, is due to close in the second quarter of 2018 but needs approval from the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

The agreement will see Innogy, majority-owned by utility RWE, acquire the U.S. onshore wind development business of project group EverPower Wind Holdings from British private equity investor Terra Firma Capital Partners [TERA.UL].

“The U.S. market is one of our key strategic growth areas for renewables,” said Hans Buenting, Innogy’s board member in charge of renewables, saying the firm’s first acquisition in the United States was “just the beginning.”

Innogy, whose business is focused on energy networks, renewables and retail, said it was also examining opportunities for offshore wind and solar projects in the U.S. market.

Shares in Innogy and parent RWE were up 1.2 and 1.8 percent, respectively, a much-needed increase after a profit warning this month caused investors to dump both stocks, culminating in the resignation of Innogy boss Peter Terium.

Innogy’s announcement comes shortly after this week’s final U.S. tax bill that retained key production credits for wind energy projects, reversing earlier versions in which the subsidies had been significantly cut.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Tom Sims and Edmund Blair

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