Bluefield European Solar Fund (BESF), a new solar investment vehicle to be advised by Bluefield Partners, has announced its intention to list on the London Stock Exchange and raise €200 million (£142 million) for PV acquisitions.
The vehicle will target solar assets across Europe – excluding Greece – but will primarily focus on the Italian and Spanish markets, countries in which the company has already established a target portfolio of assets with a total capacity of 49MWp.
The target portfolio of 29 individual solar arrays is to be secured with an expected consideration of €157 million and BESF expects to raise the investment from its share issue over the course of the coming 12 months.
BESF’s investment strategy is to target operational utility-scale and commercial assets and intends to derive at least 60% of its activity on a net asset value basis from Italy and Spain after Bluefield said the “fragmented nature” of those markets was “ideally suited” to its asset management experience.
“We expect to be able to use our specialist knowledge to quickly and efficiently consolidate a large, high yielding asset base for our shareholders,” said James Armstrong, managing partner at Bluefield Partners.
BESF is to have a four-strong board comprising of non-executive chairman and former deputy chairman of GDF Suez Sir Neville Simms, senior non-executive director Anthony Brooke and non-executive directors Paul Meader and Ian Burns.
Simms said the European market represented an opportunity to create “above average, long term returns” as long as it was approached in a “defensive way”. “The deep solar experience of the Investment Adviser’s specialist team and market leading track record combined with the scale of the opportunity provides the foundation to build a market leading solar focused energy company in the coming years,” he added.
Goldman Sachs is acting as the company’s global coordination and sponsor while Numis Securities and UBS Investment Bank are joint bookrunners for the IPO, and BESF has already secured commitments from investment funds BlackRock and Newton Investment Management to contribute 10% of the IPO each.
Last week Bluefield Partners’ solely UK-facing fund Bluefield Solar Investment Fund was one of several companies to state that it would be hit by Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to remove the Climate Change Levy exemption for renewable energy.