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Irish Life Fund Buys Viridian Wind Farm Stake in First Deal

The Irish Infrastructure Fund, a 1 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) vehicle set up by Irish Life & Permanent Plc, bought a majority stake in 10 wind projects from Belfast-based Viridian Group Ltd.

The investment in renewable energy is the fund’s first since it started in November, according to a statement from AMP Capital Investors Ltd., the Sydney-based manager of the fund.

Eight of the wind parks are in the Republic of Ireland, which is seeking to get 40 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2020. Ireland in March started a second incentive program for onshore wind, hydro and biomass landfill gas to support 4,000 megawatts of renewables as it seeks to boost clean energy generation for domestic use and export.

The fund, established to invest in Irish infrastructure assets, will hold at least 75 percent of the wind farms which total 104 megawatts. Energia Group, a unit of Viridian, will keep the remaining shares, manage the wind farms and take most of the electricity they generate, according to the statement.

The Irish Infrastructure Fund already got 300 million euros from the Dublin-based National Pensions Reserve Fund and other investors as it seeks to raise 1 billion euros from global and Irish institutional investors, according to the statement.

“We see this transaction as potentially the first in a number of additional investments in the renewable energy space in Ireland,” AMP Capital Managing Director for Europe, Head of Infrastructure, Boe Pahari said in the statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed in line with AMP Capital policy. The Irish Infrastructure Fund was established by Irish Life Investment Managers, the asset management arm of Irish Life & Permanent.

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