AXA and CAA breeze in with £3bn for 50% windfarm stake

AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances are jointly paying £3 billion for a half share in the world’s largest offshore windfarm.

The stake in the 1.3 GW Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm, in the UK, has been acquired from Copenhagen-headquartered and listed energy infrastructure provider Ørsted. Hornsea 2 is currently under construction and will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm once commissioned later in 2022.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2022, once the wind farm is fully commissioned and regulatory approvals are obtained. AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances will each own 25% of the project.

The investors’ half share in Hornsea 2 will be funded through a combination of equity and a senior multi-tranche staple financing package provided by 30 banks and including a covered tranche guaranteed by EKF, Denmark’s export credit agency. Ørsted also originated and structured the finance package.

Hornsea 2 is located 89 km off the Yorkshire coast in the Hornsea zone and will occupy an area of 462 sq km. It will provide enough green electricity to power the equivalent of more than 1.3 million homes annually

Mark Gilligan, Head of Infrastructure Equity at AXA IM Alts, said: “Our investment strategy is all about decarbonisation, electrification, and digitalisation. These are central to the energy transition. Hornsea 2 allows us to play an important role in decarbonising and electrifying the United Kingdom.”