Allianz Global Investors has sold its 99MW UK solar park portfolio to Greencoat Capital for an undisclosed amount, taking advantage of what it described as "attractive" prices for UK solar assets presently.
Comprised of three PV solar plants across Cambridgeshire, Worcestershire and Norfolk the sites form part of Allianz' entire global renewable energy portfolio, worth approximately £1.35 billion (€1.5 billion) of assets under management.
The global investment management firm first acquired the portfolio from BayWa r.e. in 2017, in a move that was thought at the time to be the first of many. Speaking to Solar Power Portal after the acquisition, Allianz GI chief investment officer Armin Sandhoevel said UK assets remained attractive despite headwinds such as Brexit due to their continued ability to diversify investment portfolios.
Commenting on the sale of the portfolio to Greencoat Capital through Greencoat Solar II, Sandhoevel pointed to the very liquid market for European renewable energy projects.
"In the current market environment, there is strong demand from UK investors for energy investments located in their home market. The solar park portfolio is of high technical quality and has therefore attracted a lot of interest. In view of the attractive prices in the British market, we have decided to sell in the interests of our investors".
The 99.1MW portfolio is made up of the Vine Farm project in Hertfordshire (46MW); INRG in Worcestershire (23MW); and Rose & Crown in Cambridgeshire (30MW), all of which were commissioned in March 2016 and benefitted from 1.3 ROCs.
They were developed by BayWa r.e. as part of a larger portfolio of six sites, with Greencoat Capital also owning the other three sites. In total, the specialist investment manager now owns 265MW of BayWa-developed assets having bought up the German group’s last 75MWp of solar farms in 2017.
Greencoat's acquisition marks more than £1 billion of solar generation assets by Greencoat Solar II, with more than 1GW of solar generation capacity at 122 sites across the UK now in operation across the company’s two funds – Greencoat Capital and Greencoat Solar II.
Portfolio manager at Greencoat Capital Karin Kaiser said: “Having owned and operated the other half of this portfolio for four years, we know these are high quality assets and are really pleased with the acquisition.
“We’re very proud to have deployed more than £1bn of private sector capital through Greencoat Solar II and continue to see an attractive pipeline of opportunities. It is fantastic to be able to contribute to the renewable build-out at this scale, whilst at the same time delivering stable returns to our pension fund clients.”
The acquisition follows Greencoat Capital buying a 156MW portfolio co-owned by BlackRock Real Assets and Lightsource BP in May.
Allianz added that the transaction was led by Roderick N. MacDonald and Heiko Ruland, and the company was advised by Milbank LLP. Greencoat Capital was advised by Eversheds Sutherland.