Santander and Prudential Capital Group jointly structure financing for Illinois Wind Farm

Santander, through its U.S. subsidiary Sovereign Bank, N.A., together with Prudential Capital Group, an investment business of Prudential Financial Inc., have jointly structured and closed a $444 million financing to support Invenergy in the construction of California Ridge, a wind power generating project in Vermilion and Champaign counties, Ill.

This financing is the second of its kind using an innovative hybrid structure developed in partnership with Prudential Capital Group and the Santander Group. It was first implemented earlier this year in the financing for Arlington Valley Solar Energy II, a 127-megawatt solar plant in Maricopa County, Ariz.

The California Ridge financing consists of a bank term facility in the amount of $270 million, syndicated among five banks, and a longer term $174 million senior note tranche provided by Prudential and another institutional investor. Santander acted as Left Lead Coordinating Bank and Prudential acted as Structuring and Documentation Advisor.

The innovative hybrid structure takes advantage of the short term flexibility of the banks and the long duration appetite of the institutional market, said Ric Abel, managing director of Prudential Capital Group s Energy Finance Group – Power. Santander has been an excellent partner to work with throughout the execution and closing of this transaction.

Invenergy will use the capital to construct and operate California Ridge, a 200-megawatt wind power generation facility located northwest of Danville, Ill. The company will sell all generated power to the Tennessee Valley Authority as part of a long term power purchase agreement. Once completed, the project is expected to generate enough energy to power 65,000 homes.

"We are very pleased to announce the closing of the California Ridge financing with Invenergy, our second hybrid financing executed in 2012 in partnership with Prudential Capital, reinforcing Santander s commitment to support our clients in the power and infrastructure space in the U.S. said Federico Papa, head of Santander Global Banking and Markets in the U.S. In the context of significant structural changes in the project finance market, evolving and finding a sustainable financing template in conjunction with Prudential is proving to be a source of significant value to our clients, added Jorge Camina, head of Project & Acquisition Finance at Santander Global Banking and Markets U.S.

"Invenergy is proud to complete financing for the seventh wind power project we are building in our home state", said Jim Murphy, chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Chicago based Invenergy. "This financing utilized a blend of bank and institutional sources to provide both flexibility and tenor."