UPDATE 1-RWE to sell stake in UK wind farm Humber Gateway to Greencoat

(Adds more projects in pipeline, background)

FRANKFURT, Nov 23 (Reuters) – RWE has agreed to sell a 49% stake in British offshore wind farm Humber Gateway to UK renewables investor Greencoat for 648 million pounds ($862.81 million), the German utility said on Monday.

Utilities, including RWE, are investing in renewable assets to reduce their carbon footprint, but they often bring in minority investors for wind farms to allow them to focus on new projects.

RWE, Europe’s third-largest renewable player and the global No.2 in offshore wind, aims to expand green energy capacity to more than 13 gigawatts (GW) by 2022, from roughly 9 GW now, and plans to invest a net 1.5 billion euros annually to do so.

In Britain, RWE, the operator of nine offshore wind farms, is currently building 860 MW farm Triton Knoll and will start constructing 1.4 GW farm Sofia next year.

As part of its asset rotation, the sale of a minority stake in Sofia is being prepared by RWE already, a person close to the matter said. In Triton Knoll, RWE’s share is only 59%.

RWE will remain operator of the 219 megawatts Humber Gateway wind farm and the deal does not change RWE’s financial guidance or its ambitions for investment in the renewable energy business, RWE said.

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RWE reaped a valuation of more than 6 million pounds per megawatt in the Humber Gateway deal, a premium to several other deals struck recently in the sector.

The transaction is expected close by mid-December 2020. Morgan Stanley advised RWE on the deal, while RBC advised Greencoat. ($1 = 0.7510 pounds) (Additional reporting by Tom Käckenhoff Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Jane Merriman)

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