‘Rockwell Land’ project: ‘We will be able to make money out of the land’

Land management company Rockwell Land will begin a £1.5bn takeover of the Somerset-based Somerset-listed Somerset Power Group to build the new £1bn Somerset Power West project.

The acquisition, which will see the acquisition of approximately 20% of the power generating assets of the West Somerset-Lancashire area, is subject to final approval from the European Commission and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018.

The purchase price is expected be between £1 and £1,500m, with the majority of the assets being in the form of electricity generation.

A statement from the company said the acquisition is subject, in part, to approval from European regulators.

The UK-listed Power Group will retain a 50% interest in the new Somerset Power Project and the acquisition will be subject to the approval of the European Communities’ Financial Stability Board (ESFB).

“We are delighted to announce this acquisition and look forward to the long-term success of this project,” said Sandeep Deshpande, chief executive of the company.

“The acquisition will provide us with the necessary financial flexibility to build on the strength of our Somerset-linked assets and ensure the continued growth and success of the project in the region.”

A further £1m of capital will be invested into the acquisition, with another £3m coming from the EU, as well as a further £2.3m from the Commonwealth.

Somerset Power said it is pleased to be joining the consortium for the acquisition.

“This transaction demonstrates the potential of our existing assets to serve as a stepping stone for the development of Somerset Power’s West Somerset West generation and will provide our partners with a long-lasting, long-standing asset that they can rely on,” said Mr Deshpende.

The purchase price has not yet been announced.

An independent assessment has already begun.

Earlier this month, the consortium announced that it would acquire approximately 30% of its assets in the area, including the Sudbury-based Power Generation business, from the WestSomersets Power Group.

In October, the company confirmed that it was to acquire the Sudbaston Power Plant in West Somerset, the power generation and distribution assets of which are owned by the Sudbridge Power Group and Sudbury Power Group, and the Sudmouth Power Station, which has been owned by WestSompson Power Group since the 1960s.