Etrion buys $7.4 million of corporate bonds

The Swiss independent power producer — which primarily focuses on the Japanese and Chilean solar markets — bought the bonds at par value from a number of unspecified bondholders, according to an online statement. It did not reveal any additional information about the transaction. 

The company plans to hold the bonds as an investment and aims to report them in its next earnings statements. The purchase will bring its annual interest costs down 17% to about €2.7 million, it said.

“It is an excellent use of some of our current liquidity, while also leaving the company with ample cash to continue to execute on our business plan and be fully funded through 2018,” said Marco Antonio Northland, chief executive of the Miami-based company.

Etrion’s shares closed up 4% to C$0.26 ($0.21) on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday and edged up slightly to SEK 1.82 ($0.22) in Stockholm, where it is also listed.

The bond purchase is the second such transaction that the company has made in less than a year. Last December, it bought €40 million in bonds, which it said would contribute to a 50% reduction in its annual interest costs.

In August, the company recorded a net loss of $14.4 million for the first six months of 2017, from a net loss of $9.7 million in the first half of the preceding year. Its net loss for April-June period alone reached $6.9 million, from just $2.9 million in the second quarter of 2016.

Etrion currently operates 113 MW (DC) of solar in Japan and Chile. It is now building 13 MW of PV capacity in Japan, following the completion of about 39.3 MW of PV capacity in the country in the second quarter. At the end of June, it said that its Japanese PV project pipeline stood at roughly 250 MW, including 40 MW to 50 MW of backlog, on top of an additional 195 MW in varying stages of development.

Earlier this summer, it revealed that it had completed 4.2 MW of solar at two locations in Aomori prefecture, northern Japan. The two installations are part of a broader 9.5 MW solar project that is spread across four sites in the prefecture.