GDF SUEZ signs a strategic partnership with Crédit Agricole Assurances covering onshore wind energy in France
The GDF SUEZ Group’s ambition in Europe is to develop its renewable energy portfolio and increase its market share in energy efficiency. In France, its goal is to accelerate expansion in particular of its onshore wind energy portfolio, increasing its total installed capacity from 1,200 MW today to over 2,000 MW by the year 2016, and thus consolidate its leadership.
In this regard, Crédit Agricole Assurances, through its subsidiary Predica, is taking a 50% stake in the GDF SUEZ subsidiary Futures Energies Investissement Holding (FEIH). FEIH operates 440 MW of installed onshore wind capacity. This transaction inaugurates an ambitious long-term partnership with the objective of expanding the wind energy asset portfolio of FEIH.
GDF SUEZ will maintain its leading industrial role by remaining in charge of the development, construction and operation of present and future wind farms. The presence of a top-flight investment partner such as Credit Agricole Assurances will enable GDF SUEZ to match ambitious growth objectives to optimize its balance sheet, and to emphasize strong local connections. This long-term partnership enables Crédit Agricole Assurances to pursue infrastructure investments, particularly in energy-related assets.
The completion of this transaction, subject to the usual conditions associated with this type of operation, is expected to occur during the first quarter of 2014 and will enable GDF SUEZ to reduce its net debt by some €400 million.
GDF SUEZ develops its businesses (electricity, natural gas, services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, combating climate change and optimizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: liquefied natural gas, energy efficiency services, independent power production and environmental services. GDF SUEZ employs 138,200 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €82 billion in 2012. The Group is listed on the Paris, Brussels and Luxembourg stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, ASPI Eurozone, Vigeo World 120, Vigeo Europe 120 and Vigeo France 20.