Aviva, China Resources Mull Bids for U.K. Wind Farms

By Vinicy Chan and Anna Hirtenstein

Aviva Plc and China Resources Power Holdings Co. are among companies considering bids for Statkraft AS’s stakes in its offshore U.K. wind farms, people familiar with the matter said, amid a surge in interest for Europe’s green energy assets.

Macquarie Group Ltd. and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S are also weighing offers, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Statkraft is aiming to sell the assets for $1 billion to $1.5 billion, according to one of the people. Bidders may only be willing to pay about $750 million to $1 billion for the two stakes, two of the people said.

No final decisions have been made, and the companies could still decide against a bid, the people said. A spokesman for Statkraft said the company couldn’t comment on an ongoing process, beyond saying that it hopes to wrap up the sale “around New Year’s.” A representative for Macquarie declined to comment, while representatives for Aviva, China Resources Power and CIP didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Statkraft, the Norwegian state-owned energy company, is selling its 40 percent holding in the Sheringham Shoal wind farm and its 30 percent stake in the Dudgeon project. The company decided in 2015 to halt new investments in offshore wind power, which it deemed too capital intensive. Chief Executive Officer Irene Egset said in July that a process to divest wind assets had begun.

The company is running separate sale processes for the stakes, but interested buyers can bid for both, one of the people said. Statkraft is seeking binding offers by early November, the person said.

Any deal would add to the $6 billion of acquisitions announced this year targeting European alternative energy assets, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Wind-related businesses have proven popular with bidders as countries in the region push for greater reliance on renewable energy sources.

Last year, Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA and Siemens AG agreed to merge businesses to create one of the world’s biggest wind-turbine manufacturers. Spanish wind-power firm Eolia Renovables de Inversiones SCR SA has drawn interest from Shanghai Electric Power Co. and Spanish electricity company Endesa SA, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

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