NEW YORK (The Deal) -- New York buyout shop KKR & Co. (KKR) said Tuesday it had snapped up a third of the international renewable energy arm of Spanish infrastructure group Acciona in a deal valuing the unit at an enterprise value of 2.6 billion euros ($3.54 billion).
KKR will pay 417 million euros for its equity stake and will invest further to fund the growth of Acciona Energia International ahead of planned an initial public offering. The investment values AEI's equity at 1.3 billion euros, while the unit has a further 1.3 billion euros in debt, the companies said.
AEI owns wind farms and solar energy assets that can produce as much as 2.3 gigawatts of energy across the 14 countries in which it operates. AEI is expected to return 120 million euros per annum to its owners, meaning KKR's investment equates to a multiple of about 21 times earnings based on the enterprise value.
"The intention of both partners is to promote an international IPO through a YieldCo vehicle that will hold all or part of the assets of AEI," the companies said.
The price of European wind assets has declined in recent years as governments have scaled back subsidies that underpinned stable returns and made renewable energy a favorite investment of pension and infrastructure funds.
Acciona launched a sale of the minority stake in its international unit to help raise as much as 1 billion euros to reshape its business after Spain cut subsidies for wind energy output in July last year. The reduction in subsidies cut Ebitda at Acciona's Spanish wind operations by about 360 million euros,or 40%, "turning it into a loss-making activity," according to Acciona's 2013 annual report presentation. The Spanish wind assets are not part of the AEI operations.