Foresight Solar Fund completes acquisition of 114 MW UK portfolio

Shotwick

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Foresight Solar Fund has completed the acquisition of 15 operational solar plants across the U.K. with a total capacity of 114 MW. The acquisition will bring the capacity managed under the fund to 788 MW across 43 PV projects.

The plants were bought by Foresight for around £47 million ($60.7 million) using funds raised in its June share issue, which generated around £48.1 million. Foresight points out that as the portfolio was previously owned by other funds managed by Foresight Group LLP, and the projects were managed by the company’s asset management team, the acquisition is a low risk one.

“This is both a strategic and a significant acquisition for the company, which sees us become the largest U.K.-listed dedicated solar energy investment company by installed capacity,” said Foresight Group Chairman Alex Ohlsson. “The acquisition will be NAV-accretive,” he added, referring to the net asset value of the projects concerned after liabilities are factored in. “[It] will further underpin our sustainable, long-term dividend policy. We are pleased to be delivering against our focused acquisition strategy and in accordance with the expected timetable.”

The 15 projects acquired range in size from 3.6 MW to 13.2 MW, are all accredited under the U.K.’s now closed Renewable Obligation Certification scheme, and have been operational for at least two years. Foresight notes the portfolio has a debt facility worth £107.2 million, provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland, and says it plans to refinance these and other U.K. projects within 12 months.

A further three U.K. solar projects Foresight had planned to acquire with funds from the share placement remain under exclusivity, and will be “subject to further due diligence before the assets can be acquired”, added the company.