Dispute Resolution

WFW advises ewz and Aquila Capital on the acquisition financing of 29 wind energy turbines in Sweden

23 January 2015


Ewz (Elektrizitätswerk der Stadt Zürich) and Aquila Capital have instructed Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) to advise on the acquisition financing of 29 wind energy plants from the listed Swedish wind farm developer, Eolus Vind AB.

ewz acquired, through German subsidiary ewz (Deutschland) GmbH, its first wind farm in Sweden and holds 51 percent of shares in the Swedish joint venture. Co-investor Aquila Capital, a leading alternative investment firm, holds the remaining 49 percent of shares in the joint venture for institutional investors.

The 29 wind turbines, with a combined capacity of 60 MW, are distributed amongst four wind farms in southern Sweden: Alered, Mungseröd, Ramsnäs and Skalleberg. Three of the four wind farms have been in operation since autumn 2014, whereas the Skalleberg wind farm is still under construction and is expected to be connected to the grid in February.

The total power output from the Atlantic wind farm portfolio will be taken off by a Finnish subsidiary of Google. As announced by Google early last year, the seller of the wind farms, Eolus Vind AB, has already concluded in January 2014 a power purchase agreement with Google for a ten year term. However, long-term, the wind farms shall also supply green energy to Switzerland. The yearly electricity production of the 29 wind turbines is equivalent to approximately six percent of the overall power consumption of the city of Zurich.

Aquila Capital is part of the owner-managed Aquila Group, which employs more than 200 staff at nine locations in Europe and Asia Pacific and manages assets of over EUR 7.6 billion for a global investor base (as of September 2014).

ewz is among the ten leading Swiss utilities and has investments in international solar and wind farm projects including in France, Norway, Germany and Spain.

The WFW Hamburg team was led by Banking & Finance partner Sven Fretthold. He was supported by associates Marcus Mützelburg and Pascal Unger. In cooperation with WFW, Swedish law firm Setterwalls advised on Swedish law.

Lead partner Sven Fretthold comments: “We are delighted that we successfully advised ewz and Aquila Capital on this transaction. The efficient cooperation as well as the innovative financing concept allowed us to implement the interests of the different parties in a target-oriented manner, securing long-term access to the Scandinavian wind sites.“