Innergex to buy Riverstone-backed wind farms in $335 mln deal

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc (TSX: INE) has agreed to acquire three wind projects in France from the Velocita Group, a portfolio investment of Riverstone Holdings, a U.S. private equity firm. The deal is valued at $335 million and reflects an equity purchase price of about $76.2 million. It will give Innergex a 69.55 percent interest in the assets, and its partner, Régime de rentes du Mouvement Desjardins, a 30.45 percent interest. The wind farms are in France’s Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region and have an installed capacity of 119.5 megawatts. Innergex, a Longueuil, Québec renewable power producer, is backed by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

PRESS RELEASE

Innergex expands presence in France with the acquisition of 3 wind projects

Accretive acquisition of 3 wind farms with an aggregate installed capacity of 119.5 MW
Projected increase to revenues, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow of C$34.8M, C$26.9M and C$4.4M, respectively for the first twelve months of operations
All the energy produced to be sold under long-term power purchase agreements with Electricité de France (“EDF”) (S&P: A-)
Total enterprise value acquired of C$335M.

LONGUEUIL, QC, May 3, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. (TSX: INE) (“Innergex”) is pleased to announce that a final agreement has been signed with Velocita Energy Developments (France) Limited (an affiliate of Riverstone Holdings LLC) to purchase three wind projects in France with a total aggregate installed capacity of 119.5 MW. As of today, 97.3 MW out of 119.5 MW (or 81%) have already reached mechanical completion and the remaining turbines are in the late stage of construction with full commissioning expected in phases until the end of the year. Innergex will have a 69.55% interest in the wind farms and Desjardins Group Pension Plan will own the remaining 30.45%.

“Following our strategic plan, our expansion continues in international markets with the acquisition of these three projects. France is an exciting market as it has adopted vigorous climate change targets and has a potential to double its onshore wind capacity by 2023,” said Michel Letellier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Innergex. “With our proven track record of developing successful wind projects, we are confident that these new acquisitions will be delivered on time, on budget, and strengthen our growing portfolio of assets.”

The purchase price of the equity is approximately €51.4 million (or C$76.2 million), subject to certain adjustments. Innergex’s net share of the purchase price will amount to about €31.3 million (or C$46.4 million) and will be paid through available funds under its corporate revolving credit facility. Non-recourse debts related to the projects, which are already in place, will amount to €174.3 million (or C$258.4 million) at the end of construction and will remain at the project level.

The Corporation will reduce its exposure to exchange rate fluctuations by entering into long-term currency hedging instruments.

Innergex expects to complete the acquisition of the three wind projects by the end of the second quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ACQUIRED ASSETS

The three wind farms are located in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region of France. The aggregated installed capacity will be 119.5 MW and the average annual power generation is expected to reach 278,200 MWh at commercial operation, enough to power about 58,400 French households. All the electricity produced by these wind farms will be sold under power purchase agreements (PPAs) at fixed prices of which a portion is adjusted according to inflation indexes, for an initial term of 15 years, with EDF.

Innergex is expecting revenues of approximately €23.5 million (or C$34.8 million) and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately €18.2 million (or C$26.9 million) for the first twelve months of operations.

The projects consist of 43 GE wind turbines (each with a gross capacity of 2.78 MW) that will be operated by the wind turbine manufacturer under an 18-year operation and maintenance contract.

(See data here.)

BENEFITS OF THE TRANSACTION

Consolidates Innergex’s growth platform in France with 274 MW in operations / construction in addition to a pipeline of more than 120 MW of prospective wind projects in development.
Increases geographical and technological diversification of assets.
First twelve months of operations projected increase to Free Cash Flow of C$4.4M.

CONFERENCE CALL

The Corporation will hold a conference call to discuss the details regarding the acquisition.

Date and time:
Thursday, May 4, 2017

11 AM EDT
Phone-in numbers:
1 888 231-8191

or 647 427-7450

Speakers: Michel Letellier, President and Chief Executive Officer; Jean Perron, Chief Financial Officer; Jean Trudel, Chief Investment Officer

About Desjardins Group Pension Plan
The mission of the Desjardins Group Pension Plan, acting through its Retirement Committee, is to provide a defined benefit pension plan to more than 50,000 beneficiaries. With $11.4 billion in net assets under management, it ranks among the top 10 private pension plans in Canada.

About Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.
The Corporation develops, owns and operates run-of-river hydroelectric facilities, wind farms and solar photovoltaic farms and carries out its operations in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, Canada, France and Idaho (USA). Its portfolio of assets currently consists of: (i) interests in 48 operating facilities with an aggregate net installed capacity of 994 MW (gross 1,658 MW), including 30 hydroelectric facilities, 17 wind farms and one solar farm; (ii) interests in one project under construction with a net installed capacity of 17 MW (gross 25 MW), for which a power purchase agreement has been secured; and (iii) prospective projects with an aggregate net capacity totalling 3,560 MW (gross 3,940 MW). Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. is rated BBB- by S&P.

The Corporation’s strategy for building shareholder value is to develop or acquire high-quality facilities that generate sustainable cash flows and provide an attractive risk-adjusted return on invested capital and to distribute a stable dividend.

For further information: Karine Vachon, Director – Communications, 450 928-2550, ext. 1222, kvachon@innergex.com, innergex.com

Photo courtesy of Innergex Renewable Energy Inc