Coillte wins Deal of the Year award at ‘Irish Times’ Business Awards

State forestry company wins for €136m sale of its stake in four wind farms Greencoat

Ciarán Hancock (right), Business Editor at The Irish Times, presents the Deal of the Year award to outgoing Coillte chief executive Fergal Leamy at The Irish Times Business Awards. Photograph: Kieran Harnett.

Ciarán Hancock (right), Business Editor at The Irish Times, presents the Deal of the Year award to outgoing Coillte chief executive Fergal Leamy at The Irish Times Business Awards. Photograph: Kieran Harnett.

 

State forestry company Coillte has won the Deal of the Year award at The Irish Times Business Awards in Dublin.

Coillte’s sale of its stake in four wind farms to Dublin-listed Greencoat Renewables for €136 million was one of last year’s more significant deals. The price is unlikely to be repeated for similar assets, as regulators plan a change in supports offered to green energy projects.

The company sold 50 per cent stakes in wind farms at Raheenleagh, Co Wicklow, Cloosh Valley, Co Galway; and Castlepool, Co Cork, and 25 per cent of Sliabh Bawn wind farm, Co Roscommon, to Greencoat. Between them, the plants can generate up to 105 megawatts of electricity, enough at full throttle to power more than 100,000 homes.

The €136 million easily topped the €125 million target set by Coillte when it put its stakes in the wind farms on the market the previous March. It was also more than five times the €25 million that the State company invested in the assets in the first place, and put an overall “enterprise value” on the plants of €281 million.

Outgoing chief executive Fergal Leamy, who is to join Glen Dimplex next month, indicated that as well as paying the State a dividend, Coillte would reinvest some of the cash in further wind farms, which he said it would build and sell once they began operating and selling electricity.

The other nominees for the Deal of the Year award were Smyth Toys, Adapt Pharma and One4All.

Other awards being distributed at the awards ceremony on Wednesday include business person of the year, chief financial officer of the year, local enterprise of the year and distinguished leader in business for 2019.