Six banks provided mini-perm debt this month to finance the purchase of a majority stake in an operating wind portfolio.

MUFG led on a $278 million, 10-year package to support a Harbert Management Corp. fund’s acquisition of an 80% stake in GE Energy Financial Services and Enel Green Power North America’s 812 MW Athena wind quintet (PFR, 12/3).

The facilities include a $250 million term loan, a $7 million revolver and $21 million in letters of credit.

Pricing begins at 137.5 basis points over Libor with 12.5 bp step-ups every four years. 

CoBank, Commerzbank, Iberia Bank, Siemens Financial Services and Zions Bancorp. were the other lenders.

More than 50% of the debt amortizes by the December 2029 maturity date, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The transaction closed on Dec. 6 with law firm Latham & Watkins advising the banks and Hogan Lovells serving as Harbert’s legal counsel. 

Aside from the 785 MW of U.S. wind farms PFR had originally reported in April (PFR, 4/10), the portfolio also includes one Canadian plant—the 27 MW St. Lawrence unit in Newfoundland (see table below).

Enel will maintain operational control of the units despite holding on to the 20% interest, which the source described as “unusual”. 

"Usually if you own 80%, you want to have your own operator," adds the deal-watcher. "Normally on a JV like this we'd see the sponsor sell down a 49% stake." 

Harbert is taking its 80% position through its Gulf Pacific Power fund (GPP), which is majority-owned by limited partner the California Public Employees' Retirement System. GPP purchased an 80% stake in two Enel wind farms two years ago (PFR, 9/12/17).



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