November 28 (Renewables Now) - Canadian renewables developer Boralex Inc (TSE:BLX) has entered credit agreements worth CAD 1.7 billion (USD 1.28bn/EUR 1.16bn) that will refinance almost all of its French wind farm operations, it said today.
The transaction, which Boralex says is the largest refinancing in the French renewables sector, lowers the Canadian firm’s average interest rate for its wind assets in France to 1.75% from 2.70% and, together with capital structure enhancements, will trim its consolidated annual interest expense by CAD 15 million.
The refinancing was closed with Credit Industriel et Commercial (CIC), Bpifrance, Credit Agricole (EPA:ACA), Unifergie, Caisse Regionale Nord de France, CaixaBank (BME:CABK) and La Banque Postale, with the new credit agreements maturing in 2034, 2036 and 2040, respectively. Boralex said the deal has freed up over CAD 178 million due to re-grouping of assets that were previously financed through individual credit agreements. It plans to use the funds to reduce its existing corporate credit facility, which will, in turn, enable it to fund the development of new projects.
The new financing deal also underpins CAD 200 million for the construction of short-term schemes, with an additional CAD 180 million to be available at the start of next year.
"This refinancing is a major step forward that will free up significant financial resources and reduce the cost of implementing our strategic plan," said Bruno Guilmette, Boralex’s vice president and chief financial officer.
The Canadian renewables developer noted it expects to book around CAD 17 million in non-recurring costs after the early repayment of some debt in its fourth-quarter financial report. During the refinancing, Boralex received legal counsel by De Pardieu, Brocas, Maffei and Linklaters LLP, while Messier Maris, Ester and KPMG provided financial advice.
(CAD 1.0 = USD 0.752/EUR 0.683)