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Allied Groups

€100m sought for wind power  

Airtricity, the green energy company headed by Eddie O’Connor, is raising about €100m in loan notes to give extra firepower to the highly expansive group’s €310m equity raising earlier this year.

Dolmen Securities is in charge of raising the funds, which are understood to carry a 12% annual coupon. They will be used to partially fund some of the group’s projects, which will also require substantial bank borrowing. The broker raised more than €100m in finance from its private clients for Airtricity last year, having originally been mandated to find €25m. Lending in the sector is done on a project-by-project basis.

Airtricity has about 18 megawatts (MW) of wind farm capacity, mainly in the northwest of Ireland. But it has more than 6,500MW in planning and development, mainly in Britain and America. In Texas the group has completed its 125MW Forest Creek wind farm, and is developing another 90MW project, called Sand Bluff.

The company is 51%-owned by NTR, the industry conglomerate, and counts British investment group Ecofin and private clients of NCB Stockbrokers as other shareholders. Its biggest plan, pitched to European politicians, is to build 2,000 wind turbines in the North Sea and a sub-sea electricity grid. This would initially cost €22 billion and could supply 8m homes.

By Joe Brennan


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