Power generator may agree to sell renewables unit, plants
Singer’s Elliott pressed NRG to unload assets last year
NRG Energy Inc., the U.S. power generator that billionaire investor Paul Singer pressured to unload assets, may announce the sale of its renewable energy unit and a set of Louisiana power plants this week, people familiar with the situation said.
The nation’s largest independent power producer is close to announcing agreements to sell its stake in NRG Yield Inc., a publicly traded unit that owns solar and wind farms, to investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners and coal and natural gas-fired plants in Louisiana to utility Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
The sale of NRG Yield is expected to be one of the largest renewable-energy deals ever done. It’s a cornerstone of a corporate-wide strategy that NRG laid out last year after being pushed by Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. to cut costs and review operations. The activist campaign propelled NRG’s stock, turning the company into the best performer of the S&P 500 Index last year. The company has said it’ll use the asset deals to raise cash and pay down debt.
Cleco, GIP and NRG spokeswoman Sheri Woodruff declined to comment. Elliott and Cleco owner Macquarie Group Ltd. didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
NRG has pushed to divest as much as $4 billion worth of assets since Singer took a stake, with much of the focus on clean energy. GIP was said last month to be in talks to buy NRG Yield while Cleco was said to to be interested in the power plants in Louisiana.