Gleiss Lutz advises Blackstone on the sale of the "Meerwind" offshore wind farm to Chinese investor
Today, US private equity investor The Blackstone Group (Blackstone) announced the sale of its majority stake in the “Meerwind” offshore wind farm to China Three Gorges, a global Chinese energy company. The deal, which was announced today during the German Chancellor’s visit to China in the presence of the Chancellor and the Chinese prime minister Mr. Li, values the wind farm, according to press reports, at about EUR 1.6 billion. Closing is subject to regulatory approvals and expected during the third quarter of this year.
With 80 wind turbines and a total output of 288 megawatts, the “Meerwind” offshore wind farm is one of the largest wind farms in the North Sea and the first German offshore wind farm to be completed by financial investors. It was also the first of its kind to receive financing from KfW’s funding programme for renewable energies. Blackstone acquired an 80 percent stake in the project in 2008 and began with the construction of the turbines in 2011. The wind farm was commissioned last year and subsequently commenced its commercial operation. Late last year the wind farm was fully refinanced through the green bonds with a volume of over USD 1 billion. The refinancing was followed by a structured sales process in which China Three Gorges emerged as the successful bidder.
Blackstone was advised by a team of Gleiss Lutz lawyers, led by Dr. Jan Bauer and Dr. Cornelia Topf (both partners, corporate/M&A, Frankfurt).
The team also included the following Gleiss Lutz lawyers:
Jan Philipp Mohr, Alexander Krüger, Yoshiyuki Kizu, Vanessa Carduck, Dr. Felicia Raub (all Frankfurt), Dr. Hans-Georg Schulze (Berlin) (all corporate/M&A), Dr. Marcus Dannecker (partner), Dr. Yvonne Kerth (both Stuttgart), Dr. Tim Weber (partner, Frankfurt) (all energy), Dr. Andrea Leufgen (partner), Dr. Lukas Schultze-Moderow (both dispute resolution), Dr. Michael Marquardt (partner), Dr. Ocka Stumm (both tax), Frank Schlobach (partner), Dr. Jan-Alexander Lange (both banking and finance) (all Frankfurt).
Gleiss Lutz advised Blackstone comprehensively on all legal aspects of its investment in the wind farm since 2008. This included its original investment in the wind farm in 2008, its development, putting in place the project agreements as well as its financing and construction. Most recently Gleiss Lutz advised Blackstone and WindMW on the full refinancing of the wind farm through green bonds and the subsequent exit.
Gleiss Lutz regularly advises domestic and international private equity firms on their investments. Recent deals for Blackstone include the acquisition of Armacell, Jack Wolfskin, as well as Blackstone's investment in Leica Camera AG.