With economic effect from February 1, 2012, HOCHTIEF Solutions and Ventizz Capital Partners have set up a joint venture for the development of offshore wind farms. The two partners each hold a 50 percent interest in the company HOCHTIEF Offshore Development Solutions S.à.r.l. The partners are aiming to tap further earnings potential in the high-growth market for offshore wind energy. Plans include, for example, to acquire and develop wind farm concessions and capitalize on the resulting value growth by selling them on before construction begins. The new company will focus on readying the subsequent construction of the wind farms in a way that significantly reduces the risk of cost overruns and delays. This will benefit the companies that later go on to construct and operate the wind parks at the sites concerned, avoiding risks seen on projects currently in progress. The company will thus help advance the German government’s target of 10,000 megawatts of installed capacity in the German offshore wind power market by 2020.
The company does not aim to build and operate wind farms itself. Instead, it plans to sell concessions to the future operators such as energy suppliers and public utilities, financial investors and, in increasing numbers, large industrial companies. These clients benefit from the offshore management expertise provided and are able to build the wind farms following their development more efficiently and reliably. The lack of management capacity is a substantial obstacle to growth in the offshore wind power market.
The joint venture pools the competencies of two partners that complement each other perfectly. HOCHTIEF is one of the most important players in the booming market for the construction of offshore wind farms. The Group performs construction and logistics services for a number of German wind farms. In addition, the company can draw on many years’ experience in port construction, maritime civil engineering and offshore logistics. HOCHTIEF operates its own jack-up platforms and is currently building one of the world’s most powerful installation vessels, the "Innovation", together with a partner. With the joint venture, the Group aims to add to its own value chain: Alongside the traditional construction of wind farms and the related logistics, it plans to also acquire concessions for such projects going forward, develop them and sell them after an increase in value has been achieved, as practiced in the property development business.
Ventizz Capital Partners is a leading private equity investor in the German-speaking regions for technology-oriented growth companies. Since being set up in 2000, the company has made as many as 41 investments and initiated or provided consultancy to a total of four funds with a combined capital of EUR 675 million. The company’s focus is on strategic and operative development of the target companies and on their growth. By setting up the joint venture, Ventizz is systematically continuing to expand its offshore wind segment - an expansion it started in November 2011 with the acquisition of the North Sea wind farm Nautilus II.
Ullrich Reinke, Head of Energy and Infrastructure Solutions at HOCHTIEF Solutions: "Offshore wind farms offer enormous growth potential. With the new company, we also want to contribute our know-how during the early development phases of offshore projects and thus augment value creation in this future market. Everything taken together will make for a continuous project pipeline for the Group, with high earnings potential."
"We are delighted to have found in HOCHTIEF a partner who is an experienced offshore player and who wants to help shape this growing market together with us. This creates a clear win-win situation for both companies," says Willi Mannheims, partner and member of the Executive Board of Ventizz Capital Partners Advisory AG that provides exclusive consultancy services to the Ventizz funds.
HOCHTIEF Offshore Development Solutions is already planning its first project: Following the setup of the joint venture, Ventizz is bringing the offshore wind farm Nautilus II into the company. PNE Wind AG had sold Nautilus II to Ventizz last year and will continue to support the development project until approval by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) is obtained. HOCHTIEF Offshore Development Solutions has also set its sights on four other offshore wind farms in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the North Sea and Baltic.