Quercus successful in competitive bid to acquire Antin Solar Investments and its 77.1 MW solar photovoltaic asset portfolio
London, Luxembourg: As part of a competitive bidding process, Quercus Assets Selection has successfully bid for Antin Solar Investments (“ASI” or “the Company”) and its Italian photovoltaic (“PV”) portfolio (“the Portfolio”), headed by the French infrastructure fund Antin Infrastructure Partners.
The bidding, which was conducted by a 50:50 consortium consisting of Quercus Assets Selection and Swiss Life Asset Managers (“the Consortium”), increases Quercus’ renewable energy portfolio to 266.5 MW. Established in 2011, the ASI portfolio consists of nine plants with a total capacity of 77.1 MW, and the Company is the fifth largest operator in Italy in terms of solar power generation. The plants are located in Lazio, Sicily and Puglia, all of which are among the most irradiant regions in Europe.
The Portfolio, which has an enterprise value of 310 million euros, will be acquired through a new vehicle called Quercus Swiss Life Italian Solar srl. The Consortium’s decision to acquire the Portfolio reflects the high quality nature of the assets, and follows an evaluation of ASI’s proven ability to deliver robust returns for its shareholders.
Diego Biasi, co-founder and CEO of Quercus commented: “We are very proud to have emerged as the winning bidder in the highly competitive tender process for ASI, one of the best platforms available in the Italian market”. Biasi added: “The acquisition of ASI is a strong signal of intent from Quercus and it cements our position as one of the top PV players in Italy. The deal provides an excellent platform to capture additional growth opportunities as the PV market in Italy continues to consolidate. Italy has a very stable incentive policy and a focus on renewable sources that provide renewables with grid priority. It is therefore a very attractive market and Quercus will actively seek to further its involvement in the Italian market with equally ambitious deals that will also involve the wind sector.”
Chris Manser, Head of Infrastructure Investments at Swiss Life Asset Managers commented: “The acquisition of ASI is an excellent addition to our global portfolio of infrastructure assets and provides us with a platform to capture the consolidation opportunity in the Italian PV market. Given Swiss Life Asset Managers’ strategy of minority investments we are very happy to have found in Quercus a likeminded partner to share this deal on a 50/50 basis.
Umberto Tamburrino, CEO of ASI commented: “Quercus’ diversified geographical presence in other European PV markets (e.g. UK and Eastern Europe), will perfectly complement ASI’s strong Italian footprint, and combined, we expect to emerge as a leading player in the European renewables market”
The transaction is expected to complete during the first quarter of 2016.
In addition to utilizing capital provided by investors and partners, the deal was also financed through a credit line provided by UBI, with Studio Borghesi and Associates acting as Quercus’ financial advisor.
Ashurst acted as consortium’s legal advisors.