Ørsted on Thursday entered into an agreement with I Squared Capital and management shareholders to acquire a 100 percent equity interest in Lincoln Clean Energy LLC (LCE) for an enterprise valuation of USD 580 million.
LCE is a leading U.S.-based developer, owner and operator of wind farms. Since I Squared Capital acquired a 90 percent stake in the company in 2015, with the management team owning the remaining 10 percent, LCE has developed and built over 500 MW of operating capacity, is constructing another 300 MW onshore wind project, and has a pipeline of more than 1.5 GW expected to be completed by 2022.
Ørsted is a global leader in offshore wind and in February 2018 announced plans to invest in other renewable energy technologies to reinforce its position in renewable energy.
Ole Kjems Sørensen, EVP at Ørsted and Head of Partnerships, M&A & Asset Management, says, “The U.S. is a leading market in renewable energy generation. We are delighted to announce this transaction, which will provide Ørsted with a strong growth platform in one of Ørsted’s strategic growth markets. With the acquisition of LCE, we acquire an attractive portfolio with a good mix of operating and development capacity. We have been impressed with the skills and ambition of the LCE team and we believe I Squared Capital has supported the business well in bringing it to its current market position. We look forward to working with LCE’s highly experienced and successful team in further developing this attractive business.”
Adil Rahmathulla, Partner of I Squared Capital, commented, “We are proud to have worked with Declan Flanagan and his outstanding team to build LCE into the largest non-utility owner of U.S. wind commissioned in 2017. We wish the team every continued success and congratulate Ørsted on the transaction.”
Declan Flanagan, founder and CEO of LCE, says, “I have long admired Ørsted for their leadership in offshore wind power. The team and I at LCE look forward to replicating that leadership in onshore wind in the U.S. I also want to thank I Squared Capital for their deep financial and operating expertise and commitment to LCE during what has been a period of rapid and successful growth.”
LCE’s existing management team will continue to run the business, which will be a separate unit outside of Ørsted’s Wind Power business.
The transaction is subject to approval by the U.S. competition authorities and is expected to close prior to the end of 2018.