Spain's Iberdrola sounds out sale of $700 million wind, gas portfolio -sources

LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Iberdrola (IBE.MC) is looking to sell a portfolio of gas, wind and solar assets in Spain which could raise more than $700 million, three sources with knowledge of the plans told Reuters.

The Spanish company has said it aims to divest assets in order to finance a three-year plan to invest up to 47 billion euros ($51 billion), keep its credit ratings and maintain a dividend pay-out of up to 75% of its earnings per share.

This involves disposals worth a total of 4.9 billion euros alongside partnerships in projects valued at 2.6 billion euros.

Iberdrola is working with Deutsche Bank on the sale of the 2.4-gigawatt (GW) portfolio, the sources said.

The investment bank began contacting potential buyers such as infrastructure investors, fund managers and industrial groups in recent days to gauge their appetite, they added.

Interest in the more predictable returns offered by alternative energy has risen significantly since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, pushing pension and infrastructure funds to compete with European oil and gas majors in low-carbon energy.

Iberdrola and Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

The final price for the Iberdrola portfolio will depend on the valuation of the gas assets, which were underused in Spain until last year when production increased, the sources said.

A combined cycle power plant (CCGT), which uses both a gas and a steam turbine together to produce electricity, is included in the sale, the people said.

Such facilities could play a pivotal role as a back-up to renewables in Spain when there is a lack of wind, rain and sun.

The portfolio consists of a CCGT with 1.6 GW capacity located in the South of Spain, 300 megawatts (MW) of onshore wind farms in operation and projects to develop 500 MW of solar plants to integrate with the gas plant, two of the sources said.

The sale is still at an early stage and Iberdrola could decide to delay or abandon the disposals, the people said.

Iberdrola reached an agreement last week with Norway's sovereign wealth fund to sell a 49% stake in a 1.3 GW portfolio of solar plants and onshore wind farms for 600 million euros.

It is also looking to sell minority stakes in its costly offshore wind developments in Germany and the U.S. and is considering the sale of a stake in its U.S. renewables business, sources close to the discussions have told Reuters.

($1 = 0.9183 euros)

Reporting by Andres Gonzalez; Editing by Elisa Martinuzzi and Alexander Smith

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