German utility E.ON is continuing to expand its renewables business and has acquired the North American activities of Irish wind farm operator Airtricity for $1.4 billion.

This takeover marks the first time E.ON has attained a strong renewables market position with considerable growth potential outside of Europe. The purchase price is subject to closing adjustments and includes $553 million net debt and shareholder loans.

Lutz Feldmann, responsible for renewables on the E.ON board, said: The acquisition of Airtricity in North America marks our entry into the world’s most attractive renewables market. It is a further step towards establishing a leading international position in the renewables business. The large number of Airtricity projects is also offering additional growth potential.

By acquiring Airtricity North America, E.ON is increasing its worldwide installed wind power capacity from around 640MW to 850MW, making it one of the largest wind farm operators worldwide. The total capacity of the wind power projects being developed is increasing from 2.6GW to 4.6GW. With this acquisition, E.ON is diversifying its regional and technological wind power portfolio.