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Blackstone (BX) Set to Divest Majority Stake in WindMW

Zacks Equity Research

The Blackstone Group L.P. BX, through Blackstone Energy Partners and affiliated private equity funds has agreed to divest its 80% stake in WindMW GmbH, an offshore wind farm to China Three Gorges Corporation.

Notably, the terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, according to the sources familiar with the matter, the transaction values WindMW at 1.7 billion Euros, including debt.

The deal was signed in the presence of Li Keqiang, the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China and Angela Merkel, the Federal Chancellor of Germany.

According to the sources, China Three Gorges was competing with China Guodian Corporation to acquire a controlling stake in WindMW. Other interested parties in the deal were Borealis Infrastructure and Munich Ergo Asset Management.

About WindMW

WindMW, a Bremerhaven joint venture between Blackstone (80%) and Windland Energieerzeugungs GmbH (20%), is the owner of the Germany’s largest offshore wind farms “Meerwind”.

In order to contribute to the Germany’s clean power efforts together with Blackstone, WindMW had designed, planned and constructed an 80-turbine, 288 megawatt German offshore wind farm, Meerwind, in the North Sea. It was fully commissioned in Feb 2015.

The capacity to produce enough clean energy enables Meerwind to meet the annual power needs of about 360,000 households. It is the first offshore wind farm to be fully financed by private investors and also the first one in Europe to be financed by a project bond.

Forward Look

Blackstone consistently looks for transformative projects that are challenging and can improve its status quo and the divestiture of Meerwind will help to exemplify that effort. Moreover, the company believes that the WindMW team will continue its impactful work under the new ownership of China Three Gorges Corporation.

Currently, Blackstone has Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better ranked investment management stocks include Eagle Point Credit Company Inc. ECC, Manning & Napier Inc. MN and OM Asset Management plc OMAM, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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