Foresight Solar Fund Limited ("the Fund" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that it has reached financial close on a £160 million long-term debt facility, secured on attractive terms. This facility will wholly refinance the Company's £150 million short-term acquisition facility currently in place. The Fund has also secured a £40m revolving acquisition facility to enable it to take advantage of an attractive pipeline of opportunities.
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The Fund, which was launched with an Initial Public Offering ("IPO”) on the London Stock Exchange in 2013, is managed by Foresight Group CI Limited ("Foresight”), a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager. The Fund has sixteen operational and accredited solar assets in the UK with capacity of 338MW and pays an inflation-linked dividend. The company is targeting a full year dividend for the 2016 financial year of 6.17 pence.
The Fund has additionally finalised an agreement with a single provider to enter into a 5-year Power Purchase Agreement for 15 of the 16 assets in the Company’s portfolio following a wide portfolio tender process.
The long-term debt facility will be provided by Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions ("MIDIS") and Abbey National Treasury Services Plc (trading as Santander Global Corporate Banking) ("Santander"). MIDIS has provided tranches of fixed rate and index-linked debt amortising over 18.5 years. Santander has provided a term loan amortising over 8 years as well as a £40m revolving acquisition facility. The expected average interest cost of the long-term debt at Financial Close is 2.59%.
Foresight was advised by Osborne Clarke on all aspects of the financing. The lenders were advised by Ashurst and Fichtner.
Alex Ohlsson, Company Chairman, said: "Given the current favorable market conditions, we believe the facility has been secured at an attractive rate, optimising the capital structure of the Fund and further underpinning returns to investors."
Tom van Rijsewijk, Senior Vice President of MIDIS, said: "MIDIS is pleased to work with an experienced operator like Foresight. This is a great opportunity for MIDIS to provide debt against a diversified UK solar portfolio with low gearing levels.”
Fernando Dominguez de Posada Muñoz, Vice President, Project and Acquisition Finance, said "Santander has been working with Foresight since the inception of FSFL solar portfolio. We are pleased to be able to continue supporting the company in its expansion and provide value through financial structures such as the one we are putting in place today.”
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Notes to Editors
About Foresight Solar Fund Limited ("The Company" or "FSFL")
FSFL is a Jersey-registered closed-end investment company. The Company invests in ground based UK solar power assets to achieve its objective of providing Shareholders with a sustainable and increasing dividend with the potential for capital growth over the long-term.
The Company raised proceeds of £150m through an initial public offering ("IPO”) of shares on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in October 2013. In October 2014, the Company announced a Placing Programme of up to 200 million Shares, which closed in September 2015, under which £162m has been raised of which £27.3m is held in Treasury.
About Foresight Group
Foresight Group is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.
Foresight has £1.8 billion of assets under management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).
As one of the UK’s leading solar infrastructure investment teams, Foresight funds currently manage more than £1 billion in around 70 separate operating Photovoltaic ("PV”) plants in the UK, the USA and Southern Europe.
Foresight Group has offices in London, Nottingham, Manchester, Guernsey, Rome and San Francisco.
About Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions ("MIDIS”)
In early 2012 Macquarie established the Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS) platform to leverage the infrastructure expertise within Macquarie into an investor-aligned global infrastructure debt investment management business. The MIDIS platform has been successful in securing mandates with insurer and pension scheme clients and has a track record of investing at attractive yields.
About Santander Global Corporate Banking (Santander)
Santander Global Corporate Banking (SGCB) is the global business unit for corporate clients and institutions that provides specially-tailored services and value-added wholesale products.