ForVEI, the multishareholder vehicle, has completed the acquisition of Calabria Solar,
at 24MW one of the ten largest solar plants in Italy, from Talesun Solar Switzerland AG (“Talesun”) a Swiss subsidiary of Zonghli Talesun Solar Co Ltd, the leading Chinese solar panel manufacturer, for a total enterprise value of circa € 53 million. Foresight Group, as exclusive advisor, and VEI Green, as majority shareholder, have supported Talesun and ForVEI in the structuring and arranging of the transaction, including the re-financing of the underlying asset. Foresight Group will be also acting as asset manager throughout the operating life of the plant.
ForVEI is a joint venture comprising VEI Green , CDC Infrastructure, Foresight Solar VCT, Quercus Renewable Energy and Adenium Solar Energy.
This acquisition follows ForVEI’s innovative lease-back financing acquisition of the OPDE portfolio in 2011, which at that time represented the largest lease financing of PV plants arranged by a single financial institution in Italy.
Project financing has been granted by Banca IMI and UniCredit.
ForVEI was assisted by Osborne Clarke as legal advisor while the banks have been assisted by Norton Rose Fulbright. EOS Consulting acted as independent technical advisor.
Despite the continuing economic challenges across Europe, in the past 24 months (2011-2012), Italy has continued to be one of the most effective markets in the world in solar energy with an additional 13GW of PV Plants connected to the grid according to GSE - the Italian Power Controller. Italy now has a total of 17GW of installed PV power making it the second largest country for installed capacity worldwide.
Federico Giannandrea, partner of Foresight Group and leader of the Italian Solar Team declared: "We are very satisfied at completing the significant acquisition of Calabria Solar to enhance ForVEI’s portfolio of Solar PV Assets. Thanks to this operation, ForVEI now handles a portfolio of over 54MW with a medium average annual return in the teens”..
Enrico Orsenigo, Managing Director at VEI Green declared: The successful completion of this acquisition demonstrates that there remains interest for lenders in quality projects sponsored by high level investors, despite continuing pressure on financial markets”
Diego Biasi, Managing Partner of Quercus Asset Selection declared "We are very satisfied by this acquisition since this represents one of the biggest solar plants in Italy and it adds further scale to the dimension of the ForVEI portfolio "
Jeremy Crane, Chief Operating Officer of Adenium, added: “We are excited about our latest acquisition, growing our ForVEI portfolio to 54 MW. Calabria is a very attractive asset that fits perfectly with our growth expectations for the first half of 2013. We continue to be bullish on the Italian PV market and look forward to working with our partners to increase ForVEI to over 100MW over the course of the next 12 months”.
For further information:
Notes to editors
About Foresight Group
Foresight Group has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for almost 30 years. With a background in Private Equity and Venture Capital, Foresight has diversified activities and today manages institutional funds principally in European Infrastructure (Solar and PPP), Environmental and UK small cap Private Equity, including six years of specific Infrastructure experience.
Foresight has in excess of £650 million assets under management. Foresight’s solar funds have invested in more than £310 million of operating PV assets in the UK, Italy and Spain.
In the solar sector, Foresight’s European Solar JV platform, ForVEI, includes participation by substantial global infrastructure investors such as France’s CDC Infrastructure and Italy’s Generali Group. Foresight recently opened a US office in San Francisco and announced a joint venture with Greentech Energy Systems to invest in solar PV infrastructure in the United States.
Foresight has successfully closed fundraisings for Foresight Solar VCT at £38 million, Foresight Solar EIS at £27.5 million in 2011 and, in 2012, fully subscribed at £33 million, its unique Infrastructure VCT Shares offering which is currently investing predominantly in UK based secondary PFI projects.
Foresight recently closed Foresight Solar EIS Fund 2 at £30 million and is currently raising £40 million from retail investors for UK solar assets underpinned by the UK Government’s Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme through Foresight Solar EIS Fund 3 and Foresight Solar VCT - “C” shares.
About VEI Green
VEI Green is a fully dedicated vehicle, created by its sole shareholder VEI Capital in August 2011 with an initial capital allocation in excess of €100m, with the aim of grouping the activities of the group in the renewables sector. VEI Green, alongside the joint venture activity in ForVEI, holds direct majority interest in operating production facilities for a total installed capacity of additional 60 MW split between PV and Wind sectors.
VEI Capital is an Investment Company including primary Italian institutional investors such as Palladio Finanziaria, Assicurazioni Generali, Intesa Sanpaolo, Veneto Banca SpA and Banca Popolare di Vicenza. With a capital commitment in excess of €500m, VEI Capital operates in Private Equity as well as Infrastructure and Energy sectors.
About CDC Infrastructure
CDC Infrastructure is a 100% subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts and makes long-term equity investments in infrastructure projects. It invests in mature (“Brownfield”) assets and in new (“Greenfield”) projects financed mainly in the form of public-private partnerships (PPP) or concessions. CDC Infrastructure targets a €1,500m portfolio by 2014, focused on 4 sectors: transport, energy, telecoms and the environment.
About Quercus Assets Selection Sàrl
Quercus Assets Selection is a Luxembourg based management company specialized in infrastructure investments. The company was founded in 2010 by Simone Borla and Diego Biasi. Quercus manages different Luxembourg based SICAV-SIFs regulated by the CSSF whose core business is to invest in renewable energy projects across Europe. The Funds currently have an interest in 15 plants for circa 100MW of power representing a total investment of approximately € 300Mn. Quercus Assets Selection is part of a larger group including London based Quercus Investment Partners LLP, an FSA regulated firm offering amongst other things advisory services to Institutional clients.
Adenium Energy Capital is a Dubai based investment company, specializing in the investment and deployment of clean energy. Adenium's has developed a global portfolio of clean energy assets In Italy, Japan, Middle East and North America
Adenium Energy Capital is the fruit of a joint venture between prominent entrepreneurs – each a leader in their respective industry – with a common passion to develop a sustainable, world-class investment company focus on the promotion of clean and renewable energy investments.