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China's CGN swoops for Brazilian wind giant Atlantic

Chinese group ramps up Latin American ambitions with acquisition of 642MW portfolio

China's CGN further ramped up its ambitions in Latin America as it emerged as the buyer of one of the biggest wind operators in Brazil, Atlantic Energias Renovaveis, which has been sold by investment group Actis.

CGN had been heavily tipped by the Brazilian media as closing in on the acquisition of Atlantic and its 642MW operating portfolio. Actis on Wednesday confirmed the sale of Atlantic, but declined to disclose the purchaser or the value of the transaction.

CGN has not so far replied to a request for comment, but a statement previously issued by law firm Azevedo Sette confirmed that it had “assisted CGN in the process of obtaining lenders’ consent in the acquisition of Atlantic Energias Renováveis”.

The deal for Atlantic marks another ramp-up for CGN in Brazil following its purchase there of more than 500MW of wind and solar assets from Enel earlier this year. After that deal, CGN said that it is “about to complete another transaction of a renewable project in Brazil, after which CGN will become the fifth largest clean power producer” in the South American country.

It added: “With this as a starting point, CGN will expand its clean energy business from Brazil to its neighbours such as Mexico, Argentina, and Chile before covering the whole of South America.”

Actis: 'We didn't set out to become Brazil's wind number-one'

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London-based Actis sold Atlantic after six-years of ownership that began with it taking 60% in 2013 and assuming full control in 2016.

Along with Actis’s other renewable energy vehicle in Brazil, Echoenergia, the growth of Atlantic helped propel the British investment house to the position of joint-largest wind operator in the country – a situation it told Recharge earlier this year it didn’t envisage from the outset.

Actis said there were no implications for Echoenergia of the Atlantic exit, pointing out that the businesses are at different points in the investment cycle.

Bruno Moraes, director of energy at Actis said in a statement: “Brazil’s wind resources are among the best in the world and Atlantic’s wind farms are among the most productive in Brazil.

“We are proud of what we have achieved over the last six years growing the business and delivering a platform including four wind farms with a combined output of 642MW.”

Note: Update includes further details. Additional reporting by Alexandre Spatuzza and Yuki Yu

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