NextEnergy Solar Fund targets £150 million IPO

NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited has announced that it intends to raise £150 million to acquire UK solar PV assets.

The newly incorporated Guernsey company will launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange in order to raise the target amount.

The company states that by investing in UK solar assets it will be able to provide investors with a sustainable and attractive dividend that will increase with RPI over the long term.

The fund has identified UK solar as a sizeable and growing market opportunity, buoyed by the government’s listing of  solar PV as one of its ‘key technologies’ for meeting binding EU renewable commitments. The company estimates that to reach the government’s mid-range scenario for solar PV deployment by 2020, around £11.5 billion worth of investment would be required.   

The fund will aim to leverage NextEnergy Capital Group’s (NEC Group) experience in the sector. Currently, the NEC Group has a pipeline of UK PV projects in excess of 280MW and approximately £300 million of investment. The company has identified a core shortlist of transactions from the pipeline which it expects to be fully operational within four months of admission.   

Commenting on the announcement, Michael Bonte-Friedheim, CEO of Next Energy Capital Limited, said: "The UK solar market has come of age as an investment proposition, offering long-term stable returns with RPI linkage while helping the UK achieve its renewable energy targets.

“The NEC Group is a leading solar specialist, managing and monitoring over 1,100 solar power plants with an estimated asset value of £3.1 billion. Having been operating in the UK since the NEC Group was founded in 2007, we are strongly committed to the UK solar market and are ideally placed to help exploit the market opportunity for investors."

Kevin Lyon, non-executive chairman of the NEC Group added: “The company specifically chose to concentrate on one technology and one country only, which coupled with the team's professional approach and specialist expertise in solar and in the UK will deliver superior risk-weighted returns to investors.”