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British renewables company RES to sell French project pipeline - sources

Arno Schuetze
·2-min read

By Arno Schuetze

FRANKFURT, April 20 (Reuters) - British family-owned renewables company RES Group is launching the sale of its French pipeline of energy projects in a deal worth up to 800 million euros ($962 million), two people familiar with the matter said.

The company has sent out information packages and prospective bidders are being asked to submit first-round bids by mid-May for the projects, which have a combined production target of 5 gigawatts, the people said.

"RES has engaged Rothschild to look at options for raising capital to fund the continuing growth of its business, which include the potential sale of an interest in its Development and Construction platform in France," RES said in a statement.

RES will retain its support services business in France as it looks to build up its asset management and operations and management activities globally, the company said, declining to provide additional information.

Demand for renewables assets has surged as environmentally conscious investors and energy groups seek green power to meet goals to achieve net zero emissions in line with the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Companies active in the sector including French oil major Total, infrastructure group Vinci and German utility RWE are expected to express interest, the sources said.

Infrastructure investors including Ardian, Brookfield and JPM Infrastructure may also make bids, they added.

The prospective bidders declined to comment, or were not immediately available for comment.

RES says it is the world's largest independent renewable energy company, having built projects in the sector generating a total 21 GW across the globe, and supporting an operational asset portfolio exceeding 7 GW for clients.

The company, spun out of builder Sir Robert McAlpine in 1981, today employs more than 3,000 people and is active in 10 countries working in onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage and transmission and distribution.

In similar deals to the upcoming RES divestiture, Vinci earlier this month bought the energy business of Spain's ACS for about 4.9 billion euros to bolster its energy contracting business and develop renewable projects.

RWE last year also acquired a pipeline of renewable projects of wind turbine maker Nordex for 400 million euros.

($1 = 0.8317 euros) (Additional reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Jan Harvey)