Swiss Life, Natixis Invest in $2.2-Billion German Wind Farm

  • Project is first step in infrastructure investment partnership
  • Swiss Life sees benefit from `socially responsible' activity

Swiss Life Holding AG, Switzerland’s biggest life insurer, joined with French bank Natixis SA to invest in a 2 billion-euro ($2.2 billion) offshore wind project on Germany’s North Sea coast.

Swiss Life will contribute 30 million euros, said Philippe Richer, head of proprietary asset management. Construction on the 400-megawatt facility has already begun and completion is expected in 2017.

“The investment has a risk return combination that is within our targets,” Richer said by phone. “It also has the added bonus of being in a socially responsible sector.”

Swiss Life and Natixis signed an infrastructure debt agreement, with the wind farm the initial project, the Zurich-based company said Thursday in a statement. They are also in the early stages of investing in two photovoltaic plants in France, Richer said.

Swiss Life said it will contribute 300 million euros to the partnership. Paris-based Natixis confirmed its participation, without commenting on its own investment or other details.

The collaboration gives Swiss Life access to the European infrastructure debt market. Institutional investors are showing increasing interest in infrastructure as they anticipate regulators will ease capital requirements for the insurance industry next year, the company said.

The wind farm will have additional investors. “It is syndicated,” Richer said, declining to identify the other institutions involved.

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