S.A.G. Solarstrom sells Italian project

The project, which the company states is the largest in its corporate history, was completed and brought into service end of August last year. Signing of the contract was an important step in the sale. The contract is subject to customary conditions precedent.

The final processing, payment of the purchase price as well as transfer of corporate shares are expected to occur in the first quarter of this year. The purchase price is in the triple-digit-million-euro range according to S.A.G. Solarstrom. CEO Karl Kuhlmann is particularly proud of the company’s achievement of the project. Serenissima is seen as an important milestone for S.A.G. Solarstrom, both from a technical and a sales-oriented point of view. "We have connected our – to date largest – project to grid almost four months before the originally planned date, and are feeding directly into the high-voltage network via a transformer substation that we constructed ourselves," Kuhlmann states.

The negotiations to determine the European financial investor who was selected over other prospective customers as the buyer, took a very long time. "We spent a very long time in intensive negotiations with various prospective customers regarding the project, and even decided against certain offers," explains Oliver Günther, sales director of S.A.G. Solarstrom. He adds that the new Conto Energia, in particular, and the increasingly difficult general conditions in the solar industry dragged out negotiations. "However, Serenissima is an extremely attractive project, so we deliberately took the time to negotiate a suitable price with the right investor. At the same time, the new Italian solar tax also needs to be taken into consideration," he concludes.

The company’s financial director Christoph Koch says that the financing conditions particularly for projects of such magnitude have increasingly deteriorated over the course of the year. Koch adds, "The commitment by the Deutsche Bank to interim financing in the amount of €80 million in the middle of the financial crisis and the emerging bank crisis was really a major achievement and a mark of confidence, even though the financing costs were high and have unfortunately risen considerably due to the European debt crisis and resulting bank crisis over the course of the year".