Fred Olsen Renewables closed the £303.5 million ($475 million) refinancing of its UK wind farm portfolio on October 31. The deal used a structure that wove in the financing of a planned 138MW onshore wind farm, Crystal Rig II, into the refinancing of three operational onshore wind farms.
Crystal Rig II is a 60-turbine farm to be located near to the existing 62.5MW Crystal Rig I facility, 40km east of Edinburgh. The three separate facilities used to finance the 50MW Rothes, 64MW Paul's hill and Crystal Rig farms – which were built in and around 2004 – were refinanced into a package that included Crystal Rig II's financing.
Fred Olsen felt that the pricing of the loan for new project would be better if it was bundled in with a cross-collateralised refinancing of the other three facilities, according to Nick Emery, managing director of Fred Olsen Renewables UK. Or, as Chris Andrew, a partner at Allen & Overy, which represented the developer, noted "day-one cash flow is always an attractive possibility, because people aren't looking at a naked construction period."
The debt portion of the refinancing was originally set to be £326 million, but "in the current market we thought it would be wise to put some more equity in from our end," said Emery. HSBC was financial adviser on the...
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