Marubeni, Mainstream sign EUR 100 million investment deal

Irish wind and solar developer Mainstream Renewable Power and Japanese trading company Marubeni Corporation have signed a €100 million equity investment deal that would give Marubeni a share in Mainstream of approximately 25%.

The agreement, which remains subject to shareholder approval, represents the largest single equity investment in the company’s five-year history.

The deal signifies a long-term strategic alliance for both companies that will see them working closely together to accelerate Mainstream’s key projects across multiple territories, according to Mainstream. Marubeni already has business interests in the global renewables sector, including the offshore wind industry in Europe and the electricity supply business in the U.K.

Since its founding in 2008, Mainstream has a built a global pipeline of more than 19 GW of wind and solar projects across four continents with plants currently in construction and operation in Ireland, South Africa, Chile and Canada.

Commenting on the deal, Mainstream CEO Eddie O’Connor said: "This investment is a game changer for Mainstream allowing us to focus on accelerating our project portfolios across a range of markets as well as entering into new strategic jurisdictions, which present strong value opportunities for our business. Having grown our company in the midst of the global financial crises, this type of long-term strategic investment is true testament to the strength and experience of our team as well as the quality and spread of our global project portfolio."

Hiroshi Tachigami, president of London-based Marubeni Europower, commented: "Marubeni is delighted to seize the opportunity with the right company at the right time in the global renewable energy businesses. This is a strong partnership as Mainstream and Marubeni see our futures overlap in many areas. We are excited to work together complimenting each other in where we need, including entry into new market territories, delivery of pre-consenting projects, structuring capital solutions, all of which are vital in accelerating the growth of Mainstream and Marubeni Power."

Mainstream recently announced receipt of an onshore planning consent for a 450 MW offshore wind farm in Scotland and the signing of a $1.4 billion deal with Actis to develop a wind and solar platform in Chile. Earlier this year Mainstream received a grid connection from U.K. utility National Grid for its energy bridge project, which will see Mainstream build and export 5 GW of wind energy from Ireland to the U.K. starting in 2018.

Last year Mainstream announced plans to build two solar plants in South Africa with a combined capacity of 100 MW.

As part of the agreement, Marubeni would obtain the right to representation on Mainstream’s board of directors alongside Barclays, which invested in the company in 2008.