AIG sells stakes in three Spanish solar plants

SPAIN - Unloved insurance giant American International Group has sold its shares in three solar power plants in Spain that already are generating electricity for the grid.

The company’s AIG Financial Products Corp. said the three plants have a combined generation capacity of 35.4 megawatts and a total value of about €300 million ($404 million).

HgCapital, a private equity firm in London, bought the stakes for an undisclosed amount of money.

HgCapital said it bought the interests not only from AIG but also from 360 Corporate, an investment bank in Spain. The acquisition is HgCapital’s first in the solar energy sector, the firm said. The power plants were installed before the Spanish government lowered its solar energy subsidies last fall. HgCapital, which also invests in wind power, said two of the plants have a fix-axis design while the third uses a single-axis tracker system (18MW).

AIG’s spokesman Mark Herr said via email that the operators of those power plants are City Solar, Proener and SunPower (SPWRA). SunPower, based in San Jose, Calif., makes solar panels and single-axis trackers, and it engineers and develops solar power projects. The three power plants are located in the regions of Extremadura, Murcia and Castilla-La Mancha, Herr said.

AIG said it’s selling its assets to (hopefully) improve its business prospect. Owning solar power plants is apparently not a prudent idea when business is faltering, but giving out multimillion-dollar bonuses is.


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