Repsol or Iberdrola could be the new owner of Spanish developer X-Elio

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From pv magazine Spain.

The sale of Spanish PV project developer X-Elio by its owners has attracted several businesses interested in increasing their presence in the renewable energy sector, according to Spanish media.

Financial sources close to potential buyers have told pv magazine about interest in acquiring X-Elio, which is 80% owned by U.S. fund KKR and 20% by Spanish group Gestamp. X-Elio has refused to comment.

In October, Spanish financial newspaper Cinco Días reported KKR had hired Citi and Macquarie to find another investor to raise X-Elio’s capital and implement an expansion plan to reach 2.5 GW of installed capacity by next year, a feat which would require an investment of around €3 billion.

Among the list of potential buyers are the U.S.-based Brookfield fund, Japan’s Orix, Spanish oil business Repsol and energy company Iberdrola. The latter potential suitor, as reported yesterday by Spanish press agency Europa Press, has launched a hybrid green bond issue to raise at least €500 million.

Repsol and Iberdrola’s RE credentials

X-Elio chief executive Jorge Barredo – president of Spanish PV industry body UNEF – announced in November he had assigned all the power awarded in Spain’s second renewable auction of 2017 to 11 projects in Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Castilla y León. X-Elio was the second largest PV contractor in the auction. The plants are scheduled to start operations by the end of this year.

Repsol recently took over Valdesolar Hive, a special purpose company which owns a 264 MW solar project in Valdecaballeros, in the southern Spanish region of Extremadura, for approximately €210 million. In July, the oil company announced a partnership with Spanish energy company and European transmission system operator Enagás, to produce renewable-powered hydrogen.

Spanish financial newspaper Expansión in September reported utility Iberdrola – active in renewables for more than a decade – was interested in acquiring German renewable energy company Innogy, a subsidiary of energy giant RWE.