The Gemini offshore wind project transaction has been awarded “Wind Deal of the Year 2015” by Environmental Finance (EF).
“It was big, it was bold, and it broke new ground in the way it was financed,” EF said when it revealed the winners of its 8th Annual Deals of the Year Awards in April.
A total of €2.8 billion ($3 billion) was raised, comprising 2 billion in senior debt, 600 million in equity and 200 million in subordinated debt. The deal was evidence of increasing confidence to lend to offshore wind construction.
Senior debt was provided by 12 commercial banks – ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas, Bank of Tokyo MUFJ, Deutsche Bank, Export Development Canada, Natixis, Sumitomo Mitsui, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, BNG, Santander and Caixa. Other finance came from the European Investment Bank (EIB), and export credit agencies Euler Hermes, EKF and ONDD.
After equity was raised – from Northland Power (60%), turbine provider Siemens (20%), balance of plant contractor Van Oord (10%), and Dutch municipality-backed utility HVC (10%) – it took just six months to raise the senior debt.
“The fact the deal closed within six months was a real shot in the arm for the offshore wind industry,” said Dominik Thumfart, managing director of infrastructure and energy in capital markets and treasury solutions at Deutsche Bank, which was a mandated lead arranger, bookrunner, hedging coordinator and syndication bank.