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The Globe and Mail

Caisse de dépôt acquires stake in U.S. wind-farm company

Low rain clouds pass over wind turbines operating at the Capital Wind Farm near Tarago, north of Australia's capital, Canberra, July 9, 2014.


Quebec's giant pension fund manager has taken a 25-per-cent stake in Chicago-based wind-farm developer Invenergy Wind LLC as part of a deepening commitment to the wind energy sector.

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec said it acquired its 24.7-per-cent ownership stake in Invenergy from the company after previously becoming a partner on some of its wind-farm projects.

"As soon as we began discussions with Invenergy over two years ago, our objective was to build a long-term partnership," Macky Tall, senior vice-president of private equity and infrastructure, said in a statement.

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"When we first invested in the company's wind farms, we were impressed by the strong management team and the quality of the projects in the portfolio. With this transaction, we continue to strengthen our partnership and increase our exposure to the United States, a promising market for years to come."

A Caisse spokesman said financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

In 2013, the Caisse invested $500-million (U.S.) in a portfolio of 13 Invenergy wind farm projects in Canada and the U.S., including the Le Plateau wind farm in Quebec's Gaspé region.

In April this year, the pension manager invested $42-million (Canadian) for a minority stake in Invenergy's new Parc des Moulins wind project in Quebec, which began operating in December. Parc des Moulins is a 135.7-megawatt wind farm supplying power to three Quebec municipalities: Thetford Mines, Kinnear's Mills and Saint-Jean-de-Brébeuf.

The latest deal means the Caisse has expanded from investing in the projects to taking a direct ownership interest in the parent company developing the wind farms.

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