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Blackstone forms European power generation partnership with PQ Energy

Funds managed by Blackstone are forming a partnership with PQ Energy to acquire or to develop power generation facilities throughout Europe. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, PQ Energy is led by a seasoned management and technical team. The team has extensive power project development and operating experience as well as a strong track record of identifying and investing in power generation assets and creating significant long-term value.

Blackstone’s funds have partnered with PQ Energy to provide necessary investment capital to the European power sector at a critical time when traditional sources of power supply have fundamentally changed due to the addition of substantial renewable generation and the planned retirement of significant nuclear and coal capacity. PQ Energy also intends to seek opportunities to partner with existing power generation owners as these owners consider reshaping their existing asset footprint via acquisitions or divestitures.

The PQ Energy team’s extensive experience in the European power generation sector coupled with the significant capital resources of Blackstone’s funds and Blackstone’s strong track record as an investor in power generation, uniquely positions PQ Energy to acquire and/or develop attractive power generation assets. This investment is the second European power generation investment in the past six months made by funds managed by Blackstone, following the successful financial closing of Meerwind, Germany’s largest offshore wind farm project. Blackstone’s private equity and energy groups have been active investors in the energy sector, having invested/committed approximately USD5 billion of capital in twenty transactions on four continents since 1997.

PQ Energy will be led by Rolf Kehlhofer, formerly President of ABB Power Generation, and Dominique Candrian, formerly Vice President of ABB Energy Ventures, who have assembled a team of former ABB power development professionals to capitalize on this opportunity. The team has collectively developed more than 30,000MW of power generation capacity over the past 25 years. Peter Giller, formerly CEO of International Power and President of ABB Energy Ventures, will act as a senior adviser to PQ Energy.

Dominique Candrian, PQ Energy’s CEO, says: “Investment in flexible power generation assets will be necessary to complement increased power generation from intermittent renewable sources and to stabilize the European power grid at a time when many incumbent power operators face capital constraints and restructuring issues.”

Rolf Kehlhofer, PQ Energy’s President, says: “With the financial backing of Blackstone, the Company has an attractive combination of industry experience and financial strength. Blackstone is a pre-eminent investor in the global energy sector and we are delighted that they have chosen to partner with us in this transaction.”

David Foley (pictured), Blackstone Senior Managing Director and CEO of Blackstone Energy Partners, says: “The majority of the capital that Blackstone funds have invested in the energy sector has involved backing outstanding management teams to start businesses that address opportunities we see in the market and to build them to scale. We are excited to partner with Rolf, Dominique and the high quality team of experienced professionals at PQ Energy in this venture.”


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