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Nelja Energia says prospect of sell-off not affecting business for now

Estonian news - eteap January 12, 2018

Baltic News Service. 12th of January, 2018

The plan of the Norwegian parent group Vardar to explore potential buyers’ interest in the Estonian wind power developer Nelja Energia has no impact on the business of Nelja Energia at present, Nelja Energia board member Martin Kruus said.

He said that more information about to transaction the estimated worth of which is more than 100 million euros could be disclosed in February.

“We go on with our day-to-day work and investment. Right now there’s nowhere to invest on the Baltic renewable energy market. We are preparing new projects — in Estonia the biggest one is the Hiiumaa offshore wind farm, whereas in Lithuania we have quite a few projects under way,” Kruus told BNS.

Kruus said that the initiating party of the potential sell-off was Vardar, the plan was still in the very early stages and no potential investor had visited Nelja Energia.

“We’ve got nothing specific to say yet, hopefully we will have at the beginning of February, and then it will be possible to say something more specific about the process too,” he said.

Asked by BNS about the possibility of a management buyout, Kruus did not rule it out, but described the option as extremely unlikely. “If you look at the size and the balance sheet value of Nelja Energia, it’s a bit too big for the management,” Kruus said.

Kruus declined to offer an estimate as regards the value of the potential transaction, but answered in the affirmative to the question of whether it could be more than 100 million euros. “That’s for sure,” Kruus said.

Vardar AS, which through its subsidiary Vardar Eurus AS holds 77 percent of the shares in Nelja Energia, announced on Friday that it is considering exiting the Baltic market and selling its shares in the wind power developer Nelja Energia. Vardar said it has initiated a process to survey the interest for a sale of up to 100 percent of the shares in Nelja Energia.

It said in a disclosure to the stock exchange that the survey is part of Vardar’s ongoing review of its structure and exploration of strategic alternatives as referred to in its annual report for 2016 and could lead to some or all of the existing shareholders divesting their shares in the company.

Any possible transaction will, in addition to the necessary approvals by the owners of Vardar, be subject to customary approvals and clearances by relevant public authorities, including any relevant competition authorities, it said.

Nelja Energia (4Energy) earned a profit of 8.9 million euros on sales of 46.4 million euros in 2016.

Vardar AS is a Norwegian energy company devoted to investments in renewable energy production in the Nordic countries and the Baltics. Vardar Eurus is a company registered in Norway of which 90 percent belongs to Vardar AS and 10 percent to the Nordic energy investment fund NEFCO.

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