Spain’s ACS group may sell renewable energy unit

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From pv magazine Spain.

The demand for ‘pre-cooked’ renewable energy businesses has again been illustrated, this time in Spain, where the Zero-E clean energy subsidiary established by civil engineer ACS in April has reportedly been the subject of offers from private equity firms and utilities.

Zero-E is being fattened up by its parent for a planned €2 billion IPO. Media reports stated the planned public offering had attracted inquiries from potential investors offering €1 billion for a 49% stake in the clean energy business, which aims to have installed 4.5 GW of renewables generation capacity by 2023.

ACS confirmed last month, in a filing with the Spanish National Securities Market Commission, no binding offers had been received for all or part of the Zero-E unit and a source close to the company said rumors a sale would definitely take place instead of the IPO were wide of the mark.

“It is not true what has been published in many media, the IPO is not ruled out yet,” the source told pv magazine.

Interest

Spanish electric utility Endesa and Portuguese oil and gas company Galp are said to have voiced interest in acquiring the clean energy business, however, as well as an unnamed Canadian investment fund and “an important Chinese fund”.

The source said, regardless of whether the renewables business is sold or goes public, the priority is to “maximize the value of Zero-E and continue investing in renewables”.

Should a sale, rather than an IPO, materialize, ACS would want to complete the deal by early in the new year at the latest and the company says it will refuse to consider binding offers after next week.

In the event of a sale, said pv magazine’s source “it has not been decided whether the entire portfolio would be sold or only the projects under development; or the assets of Spain, on the one hand, and those of Latin America on the other”.

ACS has ploughed €850 million into Zero-E this year and has 1,481 MW of clean energy capacity operating or under construction as part of its 8.2 GW portfolio. Some 1,550 MW of capacity was allocated to Zero-E in the last public capacity auction held in Spain. ACS’ homeland makes up 43% of the renewables portfolio with a further 29% in North America and 26% in Latin America.