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GE Energy and other firms buy wind farms in France

The Associated Press

The energy investment arm of General Electric Co. and two other firms are buying 32 wind farms in France from Spanish utility Iberdrola.

The deal is valued at €350 million ($461.8 million). The three firms are GE Energy Financial Services; Energies Nouvelles, a subsidiary of the EDF Group and MEAG, the asset management arm of Munich Re and ERGO.

The buyers issued a statement about the sale on Wednesday. Iberdrola announced the sale on Monday, saying the transaction is part of its plan to sell off roughly $2 billion in assets to "strengthen its balance sheet."

Under the deal GE's energy investment arm and MEAG will each take a 40 percent stake in the wind farms. EDF Energies Nouvelles will get the remaining 20 percent stake. The collection of 32 wind farms across France has a combined generating capacity of 321.4 megawatts, according to a statement from the buyers.

An executive in GE Energy Financial Services' London office, Andrew Marsden, said the firm intends "to seek additional opportunities to expand our renewable energy assets in Europe."

GE shares rose 29 cents to $21.28 in Wednesday trading amid a broad market rally.