Abu Dhabi-based Masdar energy group’s initial acquisition last week of 67% of outstanding shares of Terna Energy – the largest renewables company in Greece – with a price of 20 euros per share, grabbed Reuters’ attention on Monday, with the international news agency saying the former is “on the hunt for more European acquisitions.”

Reports out of Athens last week had Abu Dhabi’s state-backed green energy group launching an all-cash mandatory tender offer to acquire the remaining shares up to 100%, with Terna Energy’s total equity cited was 2.4 billion euros, although the valuation reaches 3.2 billion euros, as confirmed by Masdar – the largest energy-related transaction on the Athens Stock Exchange and one of the largest to date in Europe’s renewables sector.


Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramah

FT quoted Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar’s CEO, as saying the deal “was just the start of a further expansion into central and eastern Europe.”

“The reality is we are not just acquiring this platform and portfolio, we are going to be pumping more capital into Greece and into Europe…This is a strategic deal for us, where we reinforce our presence in Greece but, more importantly, in eastern Europe,” said.

The Abu Dhabi group CEO cited a presence in Serbia, Montenegro and Poland, as well as what he called a “strong pipeline” in the region.

According to Reuters: “…Al Ramahi said higher interest rates had brought the sector back to reality and made people ‘come to their senses’ over deals. When interest rates were at zero, or negative, people were expecting high valuations. If you didn’t give them the value that they dreamt of, they could go to the bank and borrow at zero interest and continue their growth story. They don’t need you…Now (higher rates) triggered a realisation to the market that the valuation they were thinking of is not real.”

Besides Terna, FT reminds that the company recently bought 49 percent of the UK’s 11-billion-pound Dogger Bank wind project, a €1.6bn slice of a wind farm in the Baltic Sea and a 50 percent stake in US wind, solar and energy storage group Terra-Gen.