GDF SUEZ signs a strategic partnership with Crédit Agricole Assurances covering onshore wind energy in France
The GDF SUEZ Group’s ambition in Europe is to develop its renewable energy portfolio and increase its market share in energy efficiency. In France, its goal is to accelerate expansion in particular of its onshore wind energy portfolio, increasing its total installed capacity from 1,200 MW today to over 2,000 MW by the year 2016, and thus consolidate its leadership.
In this regard, Crédit Agricole Assurances, through its subsidiary Predica, is taking a 50% stake in the GDF SUEZ subsidiary Futures Energies Investissement Holding (FEIH). FEIH operates 440 MW of installed onshore wind energy capacity. This transaction inaugurates an ambitious long-term partnership with the objective of expanding the wind energy asset portfolio of FEIH.
GDF SUEZ will maintain its leading industrial role by remaining in charge of the development, construction and operation of present and future wind farms. The presence of a top-flight investment partner such as Credit Agricole Assurances will enable GDF SUEZ to match ambitious growth objectives to optimize its balance sheet, and to emphasize strong local connections. This long-term partnership enables Crédit Agricole Assurances to pursue infrastructure investments, particularly in energy-related assets.
The completion of this transaction, subject to the usual conditions associated with this type of operation, is expected to occur during the first quarter of 2014 and will enable GDF SUEZ to reduce its net debt by some €400 million.