Irish entrepreneur Sean Quinn has invested about €40 million in wind energy company Airtricity, giving him a 16 per cent stake. Airtricity said his investment was part of an €80 million private placement, which valued the company at €250 million. Existing shareholder National Toll Roads (NTR) also contributed €40 million to the fundraising and consequently has maintained its 51 per cent stake. Mr Quinn’s firm, the Quinn Group, will be seeking board representation on
the back of its investment.
Airtricity has not ruled out a flotation in the next two years. The company
was set up in 1997 and is developing wind farms in Ireland, Britain and the
US. Some 275 megawatts are already in operation and the company has 4,000
megawatts on the way. The company is also developing a wind farm off the
Wicklow coast with GE Wind.
The Quinn Group has interests in cement, glass, manufacturing, hotels, general insurance and property. Mr Seán Quinn said he was "very optimistic" about the long-term future of the renewable energy industry. He described Airtricity as "one of the leading players in Europe".