Amancio Ortega, the Spanish billionaire and the founder of clothing brand Zara, has reportedly forayed into the renewable energy sector by purchasing a stake in a wind farm operated by energy company Repsol.
Pontegadea, the investment holding of Ortega, will pay around USD 281 million (245 million euros) for a 49% stake in the Delta wind farm located in the Zaragoza northern province.
The wind farm, which opened in March, will generate 992 GWh (gigawatt hours) of 100% renewable energy a year. This is equivalent to the average yearly consumption of around 300,000 households, according to the Spanish company.
Roberto Cibeira, the Chief Executive of Pontegadea cited that the agreement reinforces the commitment towards an environment that is an integral part of all the activities in its portfolio.
There has been a significant demand for assets in renewable energy in recent years. Investors are spending billions to set foot in the sector as governments endorse carbon-negative energy and crackdown of fossil fuels to tackle global warming.
In 2019, the Spanish billionaire’s investment holding bought a 5% stake in Enagas, a Spanish gas grid operator, and it owns a 5% stake in Red Electrica, a Spanish electricity grid operator. The wind farm stake purchase will be the holding’s first venture in the renewable sector.
Additionally, Pontegadea owns a 59.3% stake in Inditex, the owner of Zara, along with huge investments in prime shopping and office districts. These purchases are mainly debt-free and are made using Inditex’s dividend payouts.
The global real estate empire of Pontegadea includes offices used by Amazon and Facebook in Seattle and large areas in Oxford Street, London.
Ortega, now 85, became a billionaire and the richest man in Spain at the age of 65 when Inditex was listed back in 2001. Funds from the proceeds were used to establish Pontegadea, which is operated as a private limited company.