Evercore launches global solar developer sale

04 June 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Evercore has launched a sale of London-based global solar developer Solarcentury, according to Inframation‘s sister publication SparkSpread.

Earlier this month, the investment banking firm approached potential suitors to participate in the upcoming sale, code-named Project Cambridge. 

Founded by entrepreneur Jeremy Leggett in 1998, Solarcentury is backed by four private equity firms Grupo Ecos, Scottish Equity Partners, VantagePoint Capital Partners and Zouk Capital.

Their plans to divest Solarcentury were first reported by SparkSpread on Feb. 15. 

Solarcentury has a team of more than 200 staff and has developed over 1 GW of utility-scale projects in Europe and Latin America and has built some 800 MW of projects.

It primarily develops solar projects in Spain, France, the Netherlands and Mexico, as well as having a smaller presence in the U.K., Colombia and Italy.

It had £12 million of EBITDA in the year to March, which is expected to grow to £30 million by next March, according to a sale teaser.

Solarcentury currently has 44 MW of assets in operation or under construction and 794 MW in advanced development, including 500 MW in Spain; and some 754 MW of projects which should reach financial close by next March.

It is currently developing 53 projects and has a 5 GW project pipeline, 

“The company is witnessing a period of significant growth with substantial investment required to capitalize on this opportunity. In this context, Solarcentury’s shareholders are seeking new sources of capital to enable the company to realise its full potential as a leading player in the global solar market,” according to the teaser. 

The company has entered into joint venture partnerships to build out its pipeline in recent years, including teaming up with JinkoSolar to win concessions in Mexico’s first solar auctions in 2016.

In November 2017, Hamburg-headquartered Encavis agreed to acquire majority stakes in a 1.1 GW portfolio of Solarcentury solar projects over a period of three years.

Encavis has to date bought Solarcentury’s 46 MW Nyrstar PV project in the Netherlands and in October acquired an 80% stake in the developer’s 300 MW Talayuela PV project in Spain’s Extremadura region.

Solarcentury, which is not levered, has sourced venture capital from several investors over the past 20 years.

Solarcentury currently has four divisions, including an IPP solar development arm; and EPC and O&M business; a residential and C&I business; and an Africa-focused unit. 

DLA Piper and BDO have also been retained as legal and tax advisor on the sale. 

Baringa, Grupo Mercados Energéticos, Evergy and DNV GL are also providing commercial, markets, technical reports to assist bidders. 

 

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