Project Development, Wind Power

Zilkha Acquired by Goldman Sachs

Wind energy developer Zilkha Renewable Energy of Texas has finished negotiating with the Goldman Sachs Group of New York on an acquisition agreement. Goldman Sachs plans to purchase a controlling interest in Zilkha, and the transaction is expected to close during the second financial quarter of 2005 after regulatory approvals.

Zilkha is owned by the father-and-son team of Selim and Michael Zilkha, and has an energy portfolio of nearly 4,000 MW in various stages of development in a dozen states. Goldman Sachs will acquire 100 percent of the company’s interests in the 200 MW Flat Rock Wind Power Project in Lewis County, New York, as well as 100 percent of Zilkha’s interest in the 150 MW Blue Canyon Phase II Project in Oklahoma, both of which are expected to be completed by the end of 2005. “This acquisition will allow us to leverage Zilkha’s strength in wind energy development with Goldman’s expertise and market leadership in energy finance and power marketing,” Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Goldman Sachs’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said. “Zilkha has established a reputation for excellence in wind energy development. We intend to build upon that reputation and Zilkha’s development pipeline to deliver high-quality projects that meet the needs of customers, partners, landowners, and communities.” Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking, securities, and investment management firm that provides a wide range of services worldwide. The Zilkha team has taken measures to ensure that investors and employees are informed about the purchase by posting some questions and answers on their Web site. “We plan to proceed with projects, but with greater resources to devote to them. We’ve always been excited about building high-quality wind power projects, and we’re happy to add momentum to the process through this new situation,” the company stated. The Goldman Sachs acquisition should offer Zilkha an opportunity to increase project development. Selim and Michael will retain a financial interest in the company and will serve on the board of directors. They don’t expect any staff changes at the company, they stated, and said that Goldman Sachs is entering into the agreement as a long-term investment. Michael Zilkha, co-owner and director of Zilkha Renewable Energy, said, “Goldman Sachs’ acquisition of Zilkha is a clear sign of wind’s emergence as a competitive, efficient, and mainstream energy resource. Because ours is a family-owned company, relationships have always been very important to my father and me. We are maintaining an interest in the new company, and we look forward to a smooth transition to a larger, more integrated enterprise.” Financial details of the acquisition were not released by either company.