Dong inks $840m wind farm deal

Building business: Lego owners take up share in Dong wind farm project as part of $840m deal

Denmark’s Dong Energy has signed up two investors to take a 50% share of a German offshore wind farm development in a $840 million deal.

The two investors, Kirkbi and the Oticon Foundation, will pay the Danish oil giant in instalments up to 2015 for the 32% and 18% respective stakes.

In 2015 the pair will take over the completed facility and their share of the earnings, with a 15-year operation and maintenance deal already inked.

The stake deal is expected to close in the second quarter subject to approval.

Dong Energy chief executive Anders Eldrup said the agreement was a major step forward for the player’s partnership financing model for offshore wind farms, which has seen the company work with institutional investors in the past but never private investors.

Situated 55 kilometres off the north-western coast of Germany, the Borkum Riffgrund 1 farm is to be built starting next year, with first power slated for 2014.

When completed, the German North Sea facility will be capable of supplying power equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of more than 285,000 households.

Dong Energy is a leading energy group active in a number of energy sectors in Northern Europe, with 6000 employees and $9.83 billion in revenues in 2010.

It is one of the market leaders in offshore wind farm construction, with new projects currently under way in the UK, Germany and Denmark.

The Oticon Foundation is a commercial foundation whose investments are managed by wholly-owned William Demant Invest.

Kirkbi is the holding and investment company of Lego heir and former chief executive Kirk Kristiansen, who is reputedly one of Denmark's richest people and whose company has committed to generating the equivalent of its power usage in renewable energy by 2020.

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