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Zara founder Ortega enters renewable energy sector

By AFP
11 November 2021   |   2:50 pm
Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara clothing brand, has entered the renewable energy sector with the purchase of a stake in a wind farm run by energy giant Repsol.

(FILES) In this file photograph taken on July 31, 2016, founder and chairman of the Inditex fashion group Amancio Ortega looks on at the end of the 32nd edition of the A Coruna International Show Jumping competition at the Casas Novas Equestrian Centre in Arteixo. – Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara clothing brand, has entered the renewable energy sector with the purchase of a stake in a wind farm run by energy giant Repsol. Ortega’s investment holding Pontegadea will pay 245 million euros (USD281 million) for a 49 percent stake in the Delta wind farm in the northern province of Zaragoza, Repsol said in a statement November 11, 2021. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)

Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara clothing brand, has entered the renewable energy sector with the purchase of a stake in a wind farm run by energy giant Repsol.

Ortega’s investment holding Pontegadea will pay 245 million euros ($281 million) for a 49 percent stake in the Delta wind farm in the northern province of Zaragoza, Repsol said in a statement Thursday.

Opened in March, the wind farm will produce 992 gigawatt hours (GWh) of 100 percent renewable energy a year, the equivalent to the average annual consumption of 300,000 households, the Spanish firm added.

Pontegadea chief executive Roberto Cibeira said the deal “strengthens the environmental commitment that accompanies all the activities in our portfolio”.

Ortega’s investment holding in 2019 bought a five percent stake in Spanish gas grid operator Enagas, and it owns a five percent stake in Spanish electricity grid operator Red Electrica.

This is Pontegadea’s first operation in the renewables sector.

Demand for renewable energy assets has soared in recent years, with investors spending billions of dollars to gain exposure to the sector as governments promote low-carbon energy and crack down on fossil fuels to fight global warming.

Ortega’s Pontegadea owns a 59.3 percent stake in Zara owner Inditex, as well as investments worth billions of euros in prime office and shopping districts.

These are largely debt-free purchases using dividend payouts from Inditex.

Pontegadea’s global real estate empire includes offices used by Facebook and Amazon in Seattle and large swathes of London’s Oxford Street.

Ortega, 85, became a billionaire and Spain’s richest man at 65 when Inditex was listed in 2001. Funds from the flotation were used to set up Pontegadea, which is structured as a private limited company.

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