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PKA grabs chance for DKK1bn profit on German windfarm, exits early

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Denmark’s PKA, which runs three labour-market pension funds in the social and healthcare sectors, says it has made an investment return of nearly DKK1bn (€134m) on the sale of its stake in the Butendiek German offshore windfarm.

The DKK250m pensions administrator said it sold the 22.5% stake in the windfarm, located near the Danish-German border, 32km from the island of Sylt, which it bought in 2013 when the project was at the planning stage.

It sold the stake to a consortium led by Japan’s ITOCHU group. 

Peter Damgaard Jensen, PKA’s chief executive, said: “Normally, we would remain in this kind of infrastructure investment for the entire duration, typically 25 years. But we had the opportunity to make a solid profit for our members, and we grabbed it.”

He said it had also been important for PKA, which has invested in five offshore windfarms including Butendiek, to establish that this type of alternative investment gives PKA’s 275,000 members a good return.

Without disclosing the amount received for the stake, PKA said the deal had given it a return of almost DKK1bn.

“Altogether, PKA has more than doubled the sum invested in just three years, and the investment in Butendiek has therefore achieved an annual return of around 25% for PKA’s members,” the firm said.

In February 2013, PKA said it was investing DKK750m in the project.

Damgaard Jensen said the high return crystallised from the deal meant it would continue to pursue its strategy of investing in alternatives.

“And that could very well be a new offshore windfarm, where we can combine a good return with making a positive difference for the climate,” he said.

The sale is subject to approval from competition authorities, PKA said.

PKA invested in Butendiek in 2013 alongside Industriens Pension – which took the same size of stake as PKA – Siemens Financial Services, Marguerite Infrastructure Fund and WPD.

The total equity and bank financing of the facility was around DKK10bn, it said.

PKA has said it aims to invest around 10% of its total assets in projects that reduce the use of fossil fuels by 2020.

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