The market for renewable projects in Spain continues to boil, but investment funds find many castles in the air.
Almost a year has passed since almost twenty renewable companies made numbers to go public, such as Acciona Energía or Ecoener, in addition to others that fell by the wayside, such as Capital Energy, Opedenergy, Factor Energia and Gransolar. The latter has been for sale since last February and, according to what EL ESPAÑOL-Invertia from sources in the renewable sector has learned, “it would be finalizing the details with an Egyptian investment fund.”
The rage for renewables pushed those that were already listed to climb to the positions of the most profitable on the Spanish Stock Exchange from mid-2020 to early 2021, which encouraged those that had been born in the heat of investment funds.
An interest that is still very much alive, according to analysis and consulting firms in the energy sector, but “they do not want projects on paper, but rather mature assets, in operation, and there is little of that”.
“There are many purchase and sale operations on the table, but very few are to be carried out successfully. What nobody bought five or six years ago is now a good product”. And he gives an example: “Now a renewable project that is 30 or 40 kilometers from the connection point is valued as positive, something unimaginable years ago when what was sold was 700 meters away. Because, you could still talk about bubble“.
Change of hands in 2021
Still there is a lot of movement in the sector. Yesterday the news of the day was the entry into the renewable sector of the Galician textile businessman, Amancio Ortega, with the purchase of 335 MW of wind power Repsol for 245 million. But that’s just one more.
Because on the same day, the French energy company Engie, beside Agricultural credit, announced the purchase of Eolia Renovables for 2,000 million. And in a few days, solar pack will leave the IBEX Small Caps index after being bought by the Swedish investment fund EQT, valuing the firm at 881 million.
There is more. Last October, the Egyptian financial giant EFG Hermes arrived in Spain to acquire 45% of the Ignis Energía group, owned by the Sieira family, for around 625 million euros. A month earlier, in August, Opdenergy, another one that was going to go public, signed the transfer of a portfolio of twenty solar projects in Spain with a total capacity of 1,044 MW and Bruc Energy, a deal that was valued at more than 700 million euros.
A month earlier, the fund TRIG, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, completed a purchase of photovoltaic assets in Spain from the Nordic group Statkraft. The operation included 234 MW for more than 163 million euros. Also the american background Nuveen, with Glennmont, purchased 470 MW from Grupotec, and the Chinese giant Three Gorges negotiates to acquire more assets from X-Elio.
If we look further back in time, last May the bottom USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme) closed an agreement to acquire a 50% stake in Bruc Energy, for 225 million. Changes of hands are announced every month.
Gransolar has been looking for a buyer since February and the sources consulted by this newspaper assure that it is about to get it. Dedicated to the engineering and construction of photovoltaic solar plants, it would be valued between 500 and 1,000 million. Currently, Gransolar has more than 2.4 GW located in 107 plants in 17 countries such as Spain, the United States, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Italy or Brazil.
with his more from 2.500 MW in turnkey projects built, more than 9,500 MW in solar trackers supplied, the main pillar of the company, more than 180 projects supplied and executed and more than 1,300 photovoltaic MW under development, it could be a good acquisition.
The company closed the 2020 financial year with a net profit of 15 million, 74% more than the previous year. It achieved a gross operating result (ebitda) of almost 28 million, 12% more than in the previous year. Its income amounted to 340 million euros.
The company already has the participation of a fund of private equity, Diana Capital, which has 35% of the capital. The CEO of Gransolar, John Peter Alonso, has 14% and a group of investors in the sector —Domingo Florian Vegas, Iván Higueras and Marta Soto— add another 38%.