Daily News: June 23, 2014

GE Unit, Others Finance Hess Newark Energy Center Acquisition

Energy Investors Funds (EIF), an energy-focused private equity firm, announced that two EIF-managed funds have indirectly acquired an additional 50% ownership stake in the Newark Energy Center from Hess Corporation using a $590 million loan from Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank; GE unit GE Energy Financial Services; and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

EIF-NEC, an entity jointly owned by the two EIF-managed funds, will use the loan to support the acquisition, construction and operation of the 705-megawatt power plant, which is being built using GE’s advanced combined-cycle, natural gas-fired turbine technology. With this acquisition, EIF-NEC now holds 100% of the equity interests in the Newark Energy Center. The three lenders served as co-lead arrangers and joint-book runners. Financial details of the transactions were not disclosed.

“We’re excited to consolidate our ownership of the Newark Energy Center and are pleased to work with three longtime relationship banks on the financing of such a critical new generation resource,” said Keith Derman, a partner at EIF. “This project will provide the PJM market with a reliable new source of efficient and environmentally friendly capacity.”

Jim Guidera, managing director and head of energy and infrastructure group for North America at Credit Agricole CIB added, “Concluding the financing for EIF’s latest capacity addition to the PJM power market was a success for our project finance team, and continues our well-established relationship with EIF.”

Carl Peterson, a managing director and leader of debt origination at GE Energy Financial Services, noted that this is the sixth thermal debt investment his group has led in the last year, with a total project capacity exceeding 3,000 megawatts.

“The Newark Energy Center highlights GE’s ability to combine technology and financial structuring expertise to provide unique solutions that meet our customers’ needs,” said Peterson.

“We are thrilled that we could deliver the right financing solution and combine it with a structure attractive to the debt markets,” said Jonathan Lindenberg, head of project finance for the Americas at MUFG.