Inditex founder Ortega pushes into renewables with 49% stake in Repsol wind farm

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Inditex founder Amancio Ortega attends the C.S.I Casas Novas international show jumping contest in the Spanish northwestern town of A Coruna July 30, 2017. REUTERS/Miguel Vidal

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MADRID, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Amancio Ortega, the billionaire founder of Zara parent Inditex (ITX.MC), is pushing into renewable energy by buying a 49% stake in a wind farm operated by Spanish energy group Repsol (REP.MC), his family office said on Thursday.

Repsol said it was selling the stake in the 335 megawatt Delta wind farm in northern Spain to Pontegadea, the Ortega family investment vehicle, for 245 million euros ($280.70 million).

Roberto Cibeira, Pontegadea's chief executive, said the deal "strengthens the environmental commitment that accompanies all the activities in our portfolio, whether in the energy sector, real estate asset management or textile distribution."

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Aside from its core business of real-estate and its 59.29% stake in Inditex, Pontegadea also has interests in energy infrastructure, with 5% stakes in Spanish power grid operator Red Electrica (REE.MC) and gas utility Enagas (ENAG.MC).

"What gives the (wind farm) investment a distinctive stamp is that (Pontegadea) is entering into a company that provides renewable energy and it links to (Pontegadea's) environmental commitment," the spokesperson said.

European oil and gas companies including Repsol have set varying targets to build more renewable energy capacity like wind farms and solar parks in response to pressure from investors, banks and governments to cut carbon emissions.

To help fund its ambitions, Repsol has been looking into selling a large minority stake in its low-carbon business, which includes the Delta wind farm, since first floating the idea of an eventual public listing of the unit more than a year ago.

It aims to vastly expand its total installed capacity to 20 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, from its current level of around 1.5 GW. Soaring global oil prices have helped generate more cash to plough into the transition effort. read more

($1 = 0.8728 euros)

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Reporting by Nathan Allen, Corina Pons and Isla Binnie; Editing by Susan Fenton

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