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Platina holds second close of wind farm fund

The specialist European investor in the wind market has reached an interim close of its second dedicated wind energy fund after six months of fundraising.

Mistral Windfarms I Limited Partnership, managed by London and Paris-based Platina Finance, has held a second close on €27 million ($31.5 million).

The interim close comes after six months of fundraising for the successor to the Mistral Energy I fund, which closed on €15 million in 2002. 

Mistral Windfarms I was launched with a €5 million investment from CNC Investment Corporation, the investment arm of international shipping group CNC. It has a target size of €60 million and is expected to achieve a final close by May 2006. CNC also invested alongside Santander Infraestructuras and other unnamed investors in the second closing.

The fund was created to provide equity finance for the construction and operation of wind farms in the UK and France and will have preferential access to a pipeline of projects developed by the Mistral Energy I fund. It will target investments in projects in the 10MW to 40MW range and, when fully invested, is expected to comprise 20 individual operating wind farms.

The fund provides cornerstone investor Santander Infraestructuras FCR, a Madrid-based infrastructure fund managed by Santander Private Equity, with its first investment outside Spain. According to the firm, Spain is the world’s second largest market for wind assets, with almost 9,000 MW of wind-installed capacity.

Luis Abraira, CEO of Santander Private Equity said in a statement: “Our investors believe in the development of wind power in Western Europe and this is an opportunity to access markets with high potential for this industry. We will seek new opportunities to invest in infrastructure assets in the UK.”

Santander Infraestructuras invests in infrastructure projects with stable cash flows in Spain, the UK, Portugal and the rest of Western Europe.

Platina also announced that Mistral Windfarms I and Mistral Energy I have acquired three wind farm projects in France for a combined total of just over €50 million. BNP Paribas acted as sole mandated lead arranger and provided financing through long-term project finance loans and ancillary credit facilities.

In a separate announcement it was revealed that Jamie Weir, a founder and former board member of Duke Street Capital, and Tim Eggar, ex-British Minister for Industry and Energy and former vice chairman of ABN AMRO Corporate Finance, will join the investor committee of Mistral Windfarm I.