Raiffeisen-Holding to Sell Austrian Renewable Producer Renergie

Raiffeisen Managementgesellschaft für erneuerbare Energie GmbH, a producer of wind and solar energy in Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany, will be sold this year as the Austrian bank that owns it sheds assets.

Raiffeisen-Holding Niederoesterreich-Wien regG, a cooperative banking group that owns dairy makers, newspapers and flour mills, will sell Renergie and focus on financing renewable-energy projects, Chief Executive Officer Klaus Buchleitner told journalists in Vienna. He declined to name possible bidders or a price for the company, in which Raiffeisen has invested about 100 million euros ($139 million).

“The company would need significant additional investments to reach a critical size in the long term,” Buchleitner said. “We will focus on financing renewable energy projects and stop operating or developing them.”

Stricter bank capital rules and enhanced scrutiny by regulators are forcing banks to take a closer look at stakes in assets tying up capital that they could also deploy for lending. Raiffeisen-Holding, which is among about 130 banks that will be supervised by the European Central Bank in the future, last year sold an unprofitable dairy business in the U.K.

Renergie operates wind farms near Vienna, solar plants in the Czech Republic and Italy, and biogas projects in Germany, and had a total capacity of 80 megawatts at the end of last year. A new 20-megawatt wind farm will go online in mid-2014.

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