13th July 2009 - Foresight Group (“Foresight”), a leading alternative asset manager, announced today that it has signed a EUR25m project financing with West LB and Barclays as Mandated Lead Arranger for the financing of a 6MW solar PV project to be constructed in the Puglia region of Italy. The deal is the third transaction signed by Foresight Solar in as many months and completes the financing of a total 19MW of solar capacity secured by Foresight during 2009. Leading Italian EPC contractor Ecoware has been contracted to construct the project which is expected to benefit from the attractive 20 year conto energia Italian solar feed in tariff.
WestLB acted as modeling and Agent bank and Barclays acted as account bank.
Earlier in 2009 Foresight announced the closing of a similar 4MW project with Enerqos, and the acquisition of a 9MW operating plant in Spain, operated by BP Solar and acquired from Banco Santander.
Jamie Richards, Partner, who led the three transactions for Foresight, said: “In this third closing Foresight has again proven its ability to successfully secure project financing and execute projects in a difficult financial environment.”
Pietro Zerauschek, who led the project financing, adds: “Foresight’s strong relationships with local and international banks have enabled it to secure excellent financing (c.80% gearing) and double digit yields for its investors. West LB and Barclays have been supportive and professional counterparts throughout the arranging of the transaction.”
Stefano Cassella, Managing Director, West LB said: “In closing this important transaction West LB is continuing to demonstrate its leading position as project financier of the solar sector across Europe. Foresight’s team has solid experience in Project Financing and has been a strong counterpart for the financing.”
Angelo Pontiroli, Commercial Director, Barclays Bank Plc said: “Barclays Italian Structured Finance team has shown its ability to arrange project finance deals with particular focus on the renewable resources. In addition, in Italy Barclays is actually present with 150 retail and 20 corporate braches able to offer competitive retail and corporate banking services and products.”
Foresight’s first European Solar Fund was launched in November 2008 and to date has raised more than €40 million. Foresight will be launching a second solar infrastructure fund with a target of Euro 200 million later this year. The second fund seeks to deliver double digit yields to investors with a premium generated on ultimate sale of the portfolio of assets within the fund.