TCW Buying UK Wind Farm Stakes from Centrica

LONDON(Reuters) – British Gas owner Centrica Plc (CNA.L) said on Wednesday it will sell a 50 percent equity stake in three wind farms to the US-based investment management company TCW for 84 million pounds in cash ($138 million).

Centrica is selling the stake in its Lynn, Inner Dowsing and Glens of Foudland wind farms and entered agreements to raise approximately 340 million pounds of non-recourse project finance facilities from a consortium of banks for these assets.

“The refinancing and equity sale of part of our existing wind portfolio underlines the quality of the operational assets and creates a structure for recycling Centrica’s capital and mobilising third party funds efficiently,” Sam Laidlaw, Chief Executive of Centrica, said.

The company also said its 270 megawatt (MW) Lincs offshore wind project has received final investment approval. About 725 million pounds of investment is expected.

Construction should begin in 2010 and the wind farm should be generating power towards the end of 2012.

Shares in Centrica closed at 244.20 pence on Monday.

(Reporting by Sharon Lindores; Editing by Paul Hoskins)

($1=.6091 Pound)