UK: ForVEI, the multishareholder vehicle, has completed the acquisition of a portfolio of OPDE (one of the main Spanish contractors) PV plants for an installed power of 8MW and an enterprise value of €33 million. Foresight Group advised on the transaction and acted as originator, structurer, arranger and manager.
ForVEI is a joint venture comprising VEI Capital, Foresight Solar VCT and Quercus Renewable Energy, which is backed by primary investors including Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G), Intesa Sanpaolo, Palladio Finanziaria SpA, Veneto Banca SpA and Banca Popolare di Vicenza Scrl.
The acquisition was supported by a lease back financing of €33 million ($45 million) which has increased the entire ForVei/OPDE PV Plants enterprise value to over €88 million ($120 million). This acquisition follows the acquisition of the initial three OPDE PV plants for an enterprise value of €55 million announced in September. Together they represent the largest lease financing of PV plants arranged by a single bank in Italy. Two Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP) Group leasing companies own the PV plants for 18 years with ForVei paying a monthly rental fee. The two projects are expected to yield an annual equity return of 13 percent.
This year Italy has been one of the most effective markets in the world in solar energy with an additional 6.5GW of PV Plants connected to the grid according to the Italian Power Controller. This is three times the amount of PV energy connected in Germany over the same period. Italy now has a total of 10GW installed PV power.
Pietro Zerauschek, Foresight Group Managing Partner Italy and leader of the Italian Solar Team declared: "We are very satisfied at completing the acquisition of the entireOPDE PV plants portfolio. Thanks to this operation, ForVei now handles a portfolio of over 28MW with a medium average annual return of 13 percent. The completion of the acquisition demonstrates that there is still interest for lenders in quality projects sponsored by high level investors, despite continuing pressure on markets.”
Diego Biasi, founder partner and portfolio manager of Quercus, added: "We are very pleased to increase our investment in ForVEI. Our portfolio of PV plants in Italy is gaining institutional dimensions and we are prepared to continue with our strategic investment plans to close early additional relevant acquisitions both independently and through this joint venture."
Simone Borla, founder partner of Quercus, commented: "the ForVei partnership is extremely effective and we believe that our second fund, Quercus Renewable Energy Fund II, which is currently fundraising among institutional partners, will benefit from the investment opportunities identified by Quercus and Foresight Group which can be financed via the relevant relationships with different banks that ForVei and its shareholders have consolidated through the activities accomplished in 2011.”