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Airtricity may sell half its American division  

One of the world’s leading renewable-energy firms, Airtricity, is considering selling half its American division, thought to be worth as much as $1.5 billion (£760m) writes Louise Armitstead.

Mark Ennis, chief executive of the Irish-based firm’s supply business, said the company was looking to find an equity partner to help fund its ambitious plans to develop more wind farms in America.

Credit Suisse will handle the sale of up to 49% of the division.

Ennis said: “There has been a significant up-lift in interest in the US, so it is a good time to expand.”

In recent years, Airtricity, which has operations in Northern Ireland, The Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and America, has raised more than €500m (£340m) to fund its portfolio.

Last month it was awarded permission to develop a new wind farm at Greater Gabbard, off the coast of East Anglia.

Airtricity, which generates, trades and sells renewable electicity, is 51% owned by NTR, the Irish private-finance and infrastructure specialist.

Last year Ecofin, the UK investment firm, paid €122.5m for a 16% shareholding in Airtricity.

Sunday Times

8 April 2007

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