Japan financial services firm Orix to buy Spanish energy firm for $965m

Elawan Energy develops and operates wind and solar power projects in Europe and the Americas

The logo of Orix Corp is pictured in Tokyo, Japan April 7, 2015. Picture taken April 7, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Orix agreed to buy Spain’s Elawan Energy, the Japanese financial conglomerate’s first deal to acquire a majority stake in an overseas renewable power company, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Tokyo-based Orix is purchasing an 80 per cent stake in Elawan from its management and Spanish industrial company Acek. With an additional capital injection later, the deal is worth about 100 billion yen ($965 million), the people said.

The acquisition will expand Orix’s global renewable energy operations as it broadens a business portfolio that ranges from leasing to banking and real estate. Acek, which also owns car parts maker Gestamp Automocion, has been selling stakes in renewable assets.

Elawan, set up in 2007, develops and operates wind and solar power projects in Europe and the Americas. It has 714 megawatts of operational projects, more than 460 megawatts under construction and a development pipeline of over 10 gigawatts.

Orix has been ramping up investment in renewable energy at home and abroad in recent years. The company is also looking for such assets in the US, the people said.

In September, Orix agreed to buy a roughly 20 per cent stake in Indian renewable energy developer Greenko Energy Holdings for $980m, the conglomerate’s biggest investment in the sector overseas.