UK's Bluefield Solar seeks EUR 200m listing on LSE

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Solar investment fund Bluefield European Solar has announced today its intention to list on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) with the aim of raising approximately $220 million in funding to invest in solar projects and assets.

Having acquired financial backing from Newton Investment Management and BlackRock, the firm will seek out solar asset opportunities in the Spanish and Italian PV markets as well as the acquisition of solar PV assets in all other Eurozone countries bar Greece.

Bluefield Partners will manage the fund, which will be issued in shares denominated in euros, and will be supervised by an independent Board of Directors, chaired by former deputy chairman of GDF Suez Energy International, Sir Neville Simms.

An internal rate of return of around 7-9% has been targeted, with €0.06 annualized dividends based on a €1 issue prices for the first two years. "The fragmented nature of these markets is ideally suited to our solar investment and asset management expertise," said James Armstrong, a managing partner at Bluefield Partners.

"We expect to be able to use our specialist knowledge to quickly and efficiently consolidate a large, high yielding asset base for our shareholders," he added.

The Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF) has already made a series of investments into the U.K. solar landscape, most notably in April when the fund acquired a 49.9 MW solar PV plant from Trina Solar for $87.7 million.

That deal was financed via a bridge loan facility agreement, whereas listing on the LSE should free up a greater tranche of capital for European investment. Its initial target portfolio is 49 MW of diversified, fully operational solar PV assets in Italy and Spain.