Legal & General completes first UK offshore wind investment
20 Nov 2017
Legal & General announces that it has provided close to £300m of long-term acquisition debt in support of Danish pension funds, PKA and PFA consortium’s approx £2bn purchase of 50% of Walney Extension from Ørsted (the former Dong Energy).
Walney Extension, which is currently under construction, will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm with a capacity of 660 megawatt (MW), providing enough power for over 590,000 homes.
LGIM Real Assets was an anchor investor, structuring and providing both commercial debt and Export Credit Agency (ECA) wrapped debt on this transaction. The acquisition represents Legal & General’s first debt investment into UK offshore wind sector and its second largest infrastructure debt investment, after the £400m London Gateway Port refinancing in 2016. The deal was financed by LGIM Real Assets on behalf of their clients, including Legal & General Retirement (LGR). LGR was the principal investor for LGIM Real Assets on this transaction, providing £250M of the circa £300M of long-term acquisition debt.
The Walney Extension offshore wind farm will be located in the Irish Sea, around 19 km west of the Walney Island coast in Cumbria. Approximately £1 Million per month was contributed to the local economy during the construction of Walney I and II. It is also estimated that for the Walney Extension Project, Ørsted could support up to 185 full-time jobs annually throughout the estimated 25 year operational lifespan.
Charles-Henry Lecointe, Senior Investment Manager, LGIM Real Assets, said: “This deal represents our first offshore wind investment for LGIM clients. We have a strong appetite for future investments into this sector as well as other renewable sectors, recognising the importance the offshore wind industry can have for providing clean energy and stimulating job growth in the UK. Legal & General continues to be committed to investing in key UK infrastructure assets which will have a major impact on stimulating economic growth while ensuring long-term cash flow for pension funds.”
Kerrigan Procter, Chief Executive Officer, Legal & General Retirement, said: “Offshore wind is a growing industry in the UK, and we are very pleased to have completed our first investment with one of the most experienced and respected names in the industry. It is a great investment fit for us as it enables us to fulfil pension promises to our customers in an efficient way, whilst playing a part in driving job creation and economic growth, which is good for business as well as our customers.”
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LGIM Real Assets
LGIM Real Assets is a division of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of Europe’s largest institutional asset managers and a major global investor. LGIM manages £951.1bn in assets on behalf of over 3,200 clients (as at 30 June 2017), providing products and solutions spanning all asset classes. LGIM Real Assets, headed up by Bill Hughes, has AUM of £24.9bn (as at 30 June 2017), actively investing and managing assets across commercial property, private residential, infrastructure and property lending and, most recently, corporate credit.
Legal & General Retirement
Legal & General has been an active participant in the UK bulk annuity market for over 30 years. Legal & General offers a range of de-risking solutions, which includes buyout, buy-in, longevity insurance and liability-driven investment (LDI), to pension schemes of all sizes. Legal & General has expertise in investment management, all aspects of defined benefit provision as well as an in-depth understanding of mortality trends and longevity risk. Corporates, trustees or advisers looking for further information on the pension scheme insurance de-risking solutions available from Legal & General should contact the Pension Risk Transfer team on 020 3124 2273.
Legal & General Group
Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with a number of growing businesses in the US and in other countries. At 30th June 2017, we had over £951 billion in total assets under management. Over fifteen million people worldwide rely on us to help them save for the future and to protect their families and their homes.
We work with companies and pension trustees to help people build security in retirement, being the UK’s largest investment manager for UK corporate pension schemes, a major provider of auto-enrolled pensions and a market leader in pensions de-risking. We have also made a commitment to invest around £15 billion in direct investments, with £12 billion already invested in areas such as homes, urban regeneration, clean energy and small business finance, driving economic growth and making a positive difference to the UK’s built environment.