Partners Group sells majority stake in Japan Solar

Swiss investment manager, Partners Group has sold its stake in Japan Solar to a consortium led by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), generating a blended gross return of 3.2 times the original investment.

The firm acquired its initial stake in Japan Solar, a 610 MW platform of Japanese solar power assets, in 2013, after it invested alongside Singapore-based renewable energy developer, Equis Group, which was acquired last year by GIP in a record $ 5 billion renewables deal.

Partners Group and other stakeholders poured in an initial $250 million, with a plan to fund the construction of utility-scale power plants across the country under Japan’s FIT scheme.

To underpin the platform’s growth, Japan Solar partnered with Nippon Renewable Energy, a Tokyo-headquartered renewable energy utility business.

During the holding period, the Swiss investment manager made a further equity investment into Japan Solar, which made it the largest shareholder in the platform.

As noted by the firm, at the time the sale to GIP was agreed, Japan Solar consisted of 27 secured projects totaling more than 610 MW of capacity, over 200 MW of which were operational and contracted into long-term power purchase agreements with Japanese electric utility companies.

“Japan Solar was a timely project and we are delighted to have contributed to the build-out of Japan’s renewable energy production capacity. The successful sale of our stake in Japan Solar ahead of our original exit timeline provides an attractive return to our clients and endorses our strategy of platform-building in markets supported by transformative trends,“ said Benjamin Haan of Partners Group.

The news of sale of its holding in Japan Solar comes hot on the heels of Partners Group’s announced sale of its ownership stake in Silicon Ranch Corporation, a U.S. solar developer, to oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell. The 44% stake was sold for roughly $200 million.