SOURCE: WestLB

January 10, 2008 17:02 ET

WestLB Closes USD 317 Million Senior Secured Credit Facilities for 165.6 MW Hackberry Wind Farm

The Longest Single Asset Greenfield Wind Farm Financings Completed to Date

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 10, 2008) - WestLB's Global Energy Group announced today that it closed USD 317 million of senior secured credit facilities for the construction of Renewable Energy System's (RES) 165.6 MW Hackberry wind farm. WestLB acted as Sole Bookrunner, Lead Arranger and Administrative Agent.

The project is located in Shackelford, Texas, part of a region in the U.S. considered to be the heart of the strongest wind resource and an area with strong renewable energy legislative history.

The structure of the deal is notable, especially in today's market. The long term tranche was priced at 65 basis points inside of the latest comparable project finance bond. The tenor of the deal is construction plus 20 years. All power generated by the project for the first 15 years of commercial operations will be sold under an agreement to Austin Energy, resulting in 5 years of merchant tail risk. This is the only Greenfield single asset wind farm financing to achieve a 21 year tenor in the marketplace, clearly showing WestLB's strong position in the market and superior relationships with investors.

The credit facilities consist of a long-term loan of USD 167.8 million with a private placement of USD 85 million and a floating rate tranche of USD 82 million. The construction loan is for USD 134.5 million with a working capital facility of USD 14 million. The construction of the project is expected to require 12 months or less and commercial operations are expected to commence by the end of 2008.

"As Sole Bookrunner, Lead Arranger and Administrative Agent for this transaction, WestLB continues to demonstrate its diversity in the energy sector along with its creative structuring and distribution capabilities in the renewable sector," said Tom Murray, Global Head of Energy.

The sponsor, Renewable Energy Systems Americas, Inc., a subsidiary of RES-Group, is one of the world's leading wind energy companies. RES America has developed more than 1,100 megawatts, with 1,000 megawatts under construction and more than 11,000 megawatts under development in North America.

"WestLB did an outstanding job arranging and closing this transaction in spite of turbulent market conditions," said Richard Ashby, CFO, RES Americas.

The deal was successfully placed in the commercial bank and private placement markets.

"WestLB is pleased to be working with RES, one of the world's leading wind energy companies," said Manish Taneja, Global Head of Syndications. "We look forward to expanding our successful working relationship through the construction of the project."

About WestLB Capital Markets

WestLB develops sophisticated structured solutions through a team of highly experienced investment banking and capital markets professionals. WestLB has a long-standing presence in the corporate, structured and asset-backed financing sectors supporting clients' needs with capital commitments, advisory services and innovative financing solutions. The bank's global relationships, coupled with its unique understanding of local economies, industries and cultures, help WestLB bankers consistently deliver high quality advice and service.

WestLB AG is one of Germany´s leading financial services providers and offers the full range of products and services of a universal bank, focusing on lending, structured finance, capital market and private equity products, private banking, asset management, transaction services and real estate finance. WestLB has total assets of EUR 280 billion, as of September 30, 2007. For more information, please visit www.westlb.com.

In the United States, certain securities, trading, brokerage and advisory services are provided by WestLB's wholly owned subsidiary WestLB Securities Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member of the NASD and SIPC.

(NOTE: 3rd Quarter Earnings Release as of September 30, 2007 distributed to public on December 6, 2007)

About RES Americas

RES Americas is part of the RES-Group a member of the Sir Robert McAlpine group of engineering and construction companies, a British privately-owned family firm. Renewable Energy Systems Holdings Ltd is a subsidiary of Sir Robert McAlpine Enterprises Ltd, and has two direct subsidiaries, RES-Gen Ltd (our wind farm operating business) and Renewable Energy Systems Ltd. These three RES companies are the holding company and the main operating companies respectively of RES Group.

Renewable Energy Systems Ltd has two divisions and a number of subsidiary companies involved in the development, design and construction of wind farms worldwide and renewable heat and power installations in the UK. These include subsidiaries RES UK & Ireland Ltd, Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc, RES Australia Pty Ltd, RES New Zealand Ltd, EOLE-RES SA in France, RES Skandinavien AB, Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. and Renewable Energy Systems Construction Ltd; together with corporate divisions RES TEC (technical), and RES Heat and Power.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    WestLB AG - Group Communications - Americas

    Ashweeta Durani
    Ph: 212-852-6310
    Email Contact

    Connie J. Kain
    Ph: 212-597-1439
    Email Contact