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Germany's RWE rakes in $2.4 billion to fund renewable energy expansion

BERLIN (Reuters) - German utility RWE RWEG.DE on Tuesday completed a 2 billion euro (£2.16 billion) share issue to back its expansion into renewable energy, including its $480 million purchase of wind turbine maker Nordex's NDXG.DE project development pipeline.

FILE PHOTO: Engineers work at the Nordex wind turbine factory hall in Rostock, August 18, 2010.REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz/File Photo

The move increases RWE’s share capital by 10% and was successfully placed with institutional investors via an accelerated bookbuilding process, RWE said in a statement issued after the Frankfurt market close.

The 61,474,549 new common bearer shares were placed at 32.55 euros apiece, a discount of 4.9% to Tuesday's closing price. Frankfurt-listed shares RWEG.F in RWE closed 4.3% lower at 33.08 euros.

“We are very pleased how well our offer was accepted and how our growth ambition in renewable energy is being supported by our investors,” Chief Executive Rolf Martin Schmitz said in a statement.

“The additional financial flexibility enables us to enhance our project pipeline and to accelerate our continued growth in wind and solar power.”

Part of the proceeds will be used to buy 2.7 gigawatts (GW) worth of European wind and solar projects from turbine maker Nordex in a deal made public at the end of July.

RWE, Germany’s biggest utility, wants to increase its renewables portfolio to more than 13 GW and invest a total of 5 billion euros by the end of 2022.

The Nordex transaction was the first major renewables deal since RWE took over the wind and solar activities of former subsidiary Innogy and German peer E.ON EONGn.DE.

The restructuring positions RWE as Europe’s third-largest renewables player as Germany phases out nuclear power and coal in pursuit of a safe and environmentally sustainable energy mix.

Chief Financial Officer Markus Krebber confirmed plans to pay a dividend of 0.85 euro per share for 2020.

(This story removes extra word in seventh paragraph)

Additional reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by David Holmes and Lisa Shumaker

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