Oslo-based floater specialist BW Offshore is investing in French company Ideol to create a global integrated floating offshore wind company.

BW Offshore revealed on Wednesday it has signed a share purchase agreement, which will see it invest €60 million ($72.6 million) in Ideol to become a strategic owner in the company and create a new entity, BW Ideol.

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BW Ideol will position itself as a renewable energy company building on Ideol’s existing in-house developed and proven technology, supported by BW Offshore’s extensive experience from development and operation of offshore energy production systems.

BW Offshore will also provide a convertible shareholder loan of up to €10 million to finance BW Ideol’s current development plans and working capital requirements through 2021.

BW Ideol will seek admission to trading on Euronext Growth Oslo by the end of next month, with Carnegie and Nordea Bank appointed sole advisers for the admission process.

A private placement is also planned to fund the company’s development of a project pipeline, with BW Offshore to participate in the placement as an anchor investor and expecting to maintain a 50% share in BW Ideol following the contemplated capital raise and listing.

Ideol’s current management and employees are expected to own about 20% of the shares post listing and Ideol will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the new entity.

'Solid opportunities'

The new company aims to grow as a technology and engineering, procurement and construction services provider, while expanding and maturing a portfolio of development projects as it looks to become a long-term asset owner and operator.

“We see solid opportunities for developing offshore power production solutions to drive energy transition at global scale,” said BW Offshore chief executive Marco Beenen.

“We are combining our four decades of offshore development, financing and operational experience with Ideol’s proven floating offshore wind technology and expertise. Together we are creating a champion in this emerging market with significant long-term growth and value creation potential.”

Ideol is a provider of floating foundations for offshore wind, with more than a decade of experience in engineering and supporting floating offshore wind projects from conception to installation.

So far, it has installed two full-scale demonstration wind turbines based on its patented floater design and is currently building up a pipeline of projects as co-developer in Japan, Europe and the US.

Its demonstrator projects include the 2-megawatt Flotagen Demonstrator, which has been in operation since 2018 and Ideol claims to be France’s first offshore wind turbine, as well as the 3MW Hibiki demonstrator project off Japan, which has also been in operation since 2018.

“Our established position in floater design and engineering, coupled with BW Offshore’s track-record of project development and deep-water expertise, provides a strong platform for accelerated growth as a leader in floating offshore wind technology and growing developer of offshore renewable energy projects,” Ideol chief executive Paul Dupin de la Gueriviere said.

The privately held company is based in La Ciotat, France, and has more than 60 employees, of which 90% are engineers.