Simmons & Simmons advises on £150m Solar Fund IPO

28 Jan 2014

Simmons & Simmons renewables team is currently advising Europe’s largest solar asset manager, NextEnergy, on the listing of a newly incorporated Guernsey company, NextEnergy Solar Fund. The Fund will look to raise £150 million ($205 million) through a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange main market early this year.

The fund will be managed by NextEnergy Capital, which is active in project development, investment, asset management and investment advisory services in the renewable energy sector. The solar fund will invest in UK assets, and NextEnergy is targeting inflation-linked annual dividends of 6.25 pence per ordinary share, with a first year dividend of 4 pence per share based on an issue price of £1.

Simmons & Simmons are simultaneously advising on the acquisition of 10 projects for the new fund from three different developers which should see the fund fully invested in Q2, 2014.

This is likely to be the first of a series of renewable energy IPOs we will see in the UK this year. The team is advising on another two deals, which have yet to make any public announcements.

Steve McNab, Renewables partner at international law firm Simmons & Simmons, who is advising NextEnergy, said: “We are seeing a real surge in optimism in the UK solar market: PV is the lowest impact of all the renewable energy technologies and easily the fastest to deploy. Successes in getting these kinds of investment vehicles listed provides a secure source of long-term capital for investment managers and developers and sends all the right signals to the market.”

The Simmons & Simmons team advising on the deal and projects is led by Steve McNab, David Williams and Isabella Roberts and includes Colin Bole, Natalie Eliades, Sally Booth, Darren Oswick, Federica Titon, Hatice Ismail, James Kilby, Joanne Wright, Robert Grant, Robert Nield, Shirley Zhao, Caroline Turner-Inskip, Bree Miechel and Hannah Coad.

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    a. the largest solar development pipeline deal in Europe acquisition and development of a pipeline of large scale (10-30MW) ground mounted PV arrays across the UK
    b. on the first two deals for the UK Green Investment Bank, setting up waste sector investment vehicles.
    c. the largest offshore wind deal in the UK for a major overseas pension investment fund’s acquisition of a substantial stake in the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm
    d. the financing banks on the world’s largest biomass conversion project, Drax in the UK
    e. Absa Capital and the commercial lenders on the financing of the 138MW Jeffrey’s Bay wind project in the Eastern Cape and the 50MW De Aar and the 50MW Droogfontein solar PV projects in the Northern Cape, all being developed by a consortium led by Mainstream Renewable Power and Globeleq as part of the first round of South African renewable energy IPPs, and which all closed in November 2012
    f. one of ten largest Biomass CHP projects in the UK advising listed Swedish client Holmen, developing one of the ten largest UK based pure renewable Biomass CHP Plants at their paper mill in Cumbria
    g. Mainstream Renewable Power on a $1.4bn joint venture with Actis for delivery of 600MW of onshore wind and solar projects in Chile
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