Octopus closes £484m refinancing of UK solar portfolio
Octopus has recently closed a landmark refinancing transaction in the European renewables market. With a total value of £484m this is expected to be the largest solar PV refinancing completed to date in Europe and replaces the existing £400m bridge facility.
The new medium tenor senior secured financing has been provided by six banks: Banca IMI, Barclays, BNP Paribas, La Caixa, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Santander Global Corporate Banking, all acting as Mandated Lead Arrangers. The debt is secured against 74 ground-mounted solar power plants diversified across England and Wales with a cumulative generation capacity of 522MW, all of which earn index-linked government backed revenues from the Renewables Obligation scheme. The financing involved some innovative features, most notably a flexible rolling power offtake strategy in place of long term PPA contracts that are typically required.
RBS (Debt Advisory) and Linklaters (Legal) advised Octopus and Sgurr (Technical), Ashurst (Legal) and Operis (Model Audit) advised the lenders.
Matt Setchell, head of Octopus’ energy investment team, said:
“I’m very proud that the Octopus team has once again delivered a landmark transaction in the sector. The team has worked very effectively with the advisors and lenders to put together a competitively priced but flexible project financing package that delivers excellent value to our investors. This deal has further strengthened our relationships with a group of experienced renewables lenders and bolstered our in-house expertise. Financial innovation such as this will accelerate the transition to the clean energy system of the future, something we’re committed to continue to lead on.”
Craig Love, Director Structured Finance RBS, commented:
“We are proud to have supported and advised Octopus on this landmark and market leading transaction, the largest funding of its kind to date. RBS is one of the biggest lenders and arrangers of funding solutions for renewables and infrastructure in the UK, and we look forward to working with Octopus again on its transaction pipeline.”
For journalists in their professional capacity only. The value of an investment, and any income from it, can fall as well as rise. Investors may not get back the full amount they invest. Personal opinions may change and should not be seen as advice or a recommendation. We do not offer investment or tax advice. We recommend investors seek professional advice before deciding to invest. Issued by Octopus Investments Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT. Registered in England and Wales No. 03942880. Issued: April 2017.