Australia's New Energy Solar to wind up after USD-245m sale of US portfolio
Solar panels. Author: Chris Baird. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic.
New Energy Solar Ltd (ASX:NEW) has agreed to offload its US solar portfolio to an associate of financial services group Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) in a USD-244.5-million (EUR 244m) deal that will result in the winding up of the Aussie firm.
The Sydney-based solar investor said on Monday it has sealed a binding agreement to shed its remaining portfolio of 14 solar farms in the US to a unit of MN8 Energy LLC, formerly known as Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC. The deal was clinched after a period of exclusivity granted to the buyer as New Energy Solar was struggling to get traction in the stock market.
The proposed deal will bring USD 224 million net to the Aussie firm and will result in a total capital return of up to AUD 0.98 (USD 0.68/EUR 0.67) per share. The initial return of capital will be AUD 0.82 per share and New Energy Solar’s shareholders will get a further return of between AUD 0.13 and AUD 0.16 per share when the company is wound up, likely before the end of 2023.
The divestment in the US and the eventual winding-up of the company are both subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. Stockholders will vote on the deal on September 26.
If given the green light, New Energy Solar will delist its shares from the bourse and wind up its activities after concluding the sale. The company noted it has undertaken a series of strategic initiatives, share buybacks and a return of capital but failed to attract investor interest and cope with the continued trading discount of its tock.
The AUD-288-million sale of 167 MW DC of solar parks in New South Wales last summer to Thai energy group Banpu PCL (BKK:BANPU) was also part of that plan.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.