Merkur Offshore GmbH has completed a EUR 1.5 billion senior debt restructuring for the 396MW Merkur offshore wind farm project.
Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking (SG CIB) has acted as financial advisor, Mandated Lead Arranger (MLA) and restructuring & market hedge coordinator in the amended financing of the German offshore wind farm.
The financing enables Merkur to benefit from the current competitive debt market environment and to optimize debt pricing, leverage and tenor in the future post construction of the project, SG CIB said. The existing facilities have been amended to enable a syndicate of 13 international lenders to participate.
In parallel with the amended financing, Merkur has switched from the “compressed tariff” to the “base tariff” under the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG), therefore enabling the project to benefit from a longer period of guaranteed and stable income stream, SG CIB said.
Merkur Offshore GmbH is a joint venture owned by funds managed and/or advised by Partners Group (50%), Infrared (25%), DEME (12.5%), and Coriolis (12.5%), which is a joint venture of GE and L’Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie (ADEME) acting in the name and on behalf of the French State.
Sven Schulemann, Managing Director of Merkur, said: “Due to its leading position in the offshore wind industry and its accurate view of the market SG CIB is certainly always the right choice when it comes to financing in offshore wind. The team of SG CIB, however outperformed all our expectations and definitely had an enormous part in successfully delivering this complex transaction against the given very tight deadline.”
The project is located about 45 km north of the island of Borkum in the German North Sea. Currently under construction, the offshore wind farm and its 66 GE Haliade 6MW turbines will generate enough green energy to supply approximately 500,000 households per year.
Yann Le Bot, Director, Energy Finance, SG CIB said: “ After having acted as MLA and documentation bank in 2016 for the project’s initial financing, we are very glad to have been chosen to advise Merkur. Successfully breaking new ground by implementing a refinancing during construction of an offshore wind project is a first and something of which we can all be proud.”