Dong sells 25% of London Array

Denmark’s Dong Energy is selling half of its 50% stake in the 630MW first stage of the London Array offshore wind farm to Canadian investment group Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (La Caisse).

The £644m ($1.06bn) deal will leave the Danish energy group and La Caisse both with a 25% share of the UK wind farm in the Thames Estuary.

La Caisse will join a group of investors made up of Dong, E.ON – which will become the biggest single shareholder with 30% – and Masdar with 20%.

The deal is expected to complete in the first half of this year.

La Caisse – which was first linked with a deal for the Dong stake a year ago – has previously invested in US onshore wind assets.

Macky Tall, senior vice-president, Infrastructure, at La Caisse said: “This is an opportunity for us to invest, alongside established partners, in a quality asset in a growth-driven sector. We are investing in this project with a long-term horizon and expect to generate attractive returns for many years ahead.”

Dong Energy Wind Power executive vice president Samuel Leupold said: “Farm down of our ownership shares in wind projects is a central part of our business model.

“Our strategy is to continuously enter into partnership agreements with industrial and financial partners to extract part of the value creation from our projects, share the risk in our portfolio and attract capital to be able to continue to invest in new offshore wind farms.”

The London Array first phase entered service last April.

A London Array second phase, which is currently seeking approval, would take the total project to 870MW.

Yesterday the Danish Parliament’s Finance Committee approved the investment of DKr11bn ($2bn) in Dong Energy by Goldman Sachs and two pension funds.

Following news of the OK, Dong's long-serving chairman Fritz Schur said he will step down in March, saying it is time for "a new chapter" to begin.