Bluefield Partners plans solar fund IPO to raise £142m
Bluefield Partners yesterday said it is planning to float a second solar energy fund on the London Stock Exchange, which it hopes will raise at least €200m (£142m).
Unlike its first listed fund, which invests in UK solar energy assets, the Bluefield European Solar Fund will look for opportunities in Eurozone countries – excluding embattled Greece – with an initial focus on Italy and Spain.
The firm has already secured commitments from BlackRock subsidiaries and Newton Investment Management to subscribe for 10 per cent each of the initial public offering, conditional on raising at least €200m.
Solar energy is big business in Italy and Spain, where the combined markets have a value of around €80bn. But ownership is highly fragmented, creating opportunities for consolidation.
The company said it expects to spend €157m from the share shale on a portfolio of fully operational solar assets in the two countries, with the rest of the proceeds to be invested within 12 months. “We have found a market opportunity that offers highly attractive valuations, defensive cashflows, dividend streams and, at around €80bn of operational assets, real scalability,” said James Armstrong, managing partner of Bluefield.
The shares will be denominated in euros and Bluefield is applying for admission to the premium segment of the Official List, which means they would be traded on the FTSE index.
Goldman Sachs is acting as global coordinator and sponsor, with Numis and UBS as joint bookrunners.
The firm’s UK-focused Bluefield Solar Income Fund floated in July 2013 and raised £130m.
BEHIND THE DEAL: DAVID BENDA, NUMIS
1 Benda is a managing director at the brokerage, heading up the corporate side of a 15-strong team focused on London-listed investment funds.
2 His team has raised around £3bn for clients over the last five years and has 35 corporate clients. He led Bluefield’s first fund float back in 2013.
3 A qualified chartered accountant, Benda kicked off his career at HSBC, before moving to Winterflood Securities in 2002. He joined Numis in 2008 to build up the funds team.
Also on the Numis team are Jamie Lillywhite and Tod Davis. At Goldman Sachs it’s Richard Cormack, Daniel Martin, John Wilkinson and Chris Emmerson. At UBS it’s Steven Wirth, Christopher Smith and Craig Calvert.