Report: Terra Firma set to invest £1.2bn in wind

As Guy Hands’ buyout firm looks to turnaround struggling portfolio company EMI, it is preparing to invest a significant amount of capital to grow portfolio company Infinis into a major wind power player.

Infinis, a Terra Firma-backed company that turns landfill waste into energy, is embarking on an expansion into onshore wind power which will potentially require around £1.2 billion (€1.5 billion; $1.9 billion) of investment from its private equity sponsor.

Infinis: 800MW wind target

Infinis chief executive Alan Lovell, who was installed by Terra Firma in 2006, told British newspaper The Sunday Times that the firm intends to buy or build up 800-megawatts of onshore wind generation capacity. A sum the paper concludes will cost around £1.2 billion.

A spokesman for Terra Firma confirmed that, while the 800-megawatt target was correct, no specific sum of money had been earmarked for the investment.

Infinis was bought by Terra Firma as part of Waste Recycling Group in 2003.  In 2006 Terra Firma established Infinis as a separate company and sold the remainder of WRG to Spanish construction conglomerate FCC.

EMI: tough turnaround

In related news, Terra Firma, lead by Guy Hands, is currently wrestling with its high-profile investment in music company EMI. The label behind artists like Coldplay and The Chemical Brothers this week revealed pro forma losses of £757 million in the 12 months to March 31: more than double the previous year. Revenue fell 19 percent to £1.45 billion.

Among the list of revelations from the company’s annual review, was that it had run up a £700,000 bill with a London taxi company.

In January Terra Firma announced up to 2000 job cuts in the group’s recorded music division and a drive to cut £200 million in costs per year.