NextEnergy European Solar eyes EUR 300m in IPO proceeds

Solar park in Spain. Author: Som Energia Cooperativa. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

June 18 (SeeNews) - Newly formed yieldco NextEnergy European Solar Utility Plc (NEESU) aims to raise EUR 300 million (USD 341m) in its initial public offering (IPO) in London, it said today.

If commitments and applications exceed that amount, the size of the issue can be increased to EUR 500 million. The company expects the offer for subscription to open on June 22 and placing to open on June 24. Results of the issue are to be announced on July 10, according to the expected indicative timetable of the IPO.

NEESU has over 1.5 GWp of assets identified for potential acquisition. The new close-ended investment company and alternative investment fund will own and operate utility-scale solar energy assets in the EU, excluding the UK, with an initial focus on Italy and Spain. It will be managed by the NEC Group.

The EU has an installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity of some 86.7 GWp, of which Spain and Italy together account for roughly 27%. The Southern European solar markets are highly fragmented -- in Italy and Spain the top 10 players hold market shares of just 5% and 13%, respectively. “Consolidation by an industrial player with a long-term investment horizon can drive operating and technical improvements as well as cost and financing synergies,” Michael Bonte-Friedheim, CEO of the NEC Group said earlier this month.

NEESU is targeting a per share dividend of between EUR 0.03 and EUR 0.05 in 2015, EUR 0.08 in 2016 and EUR 0.09 in 2017. The company is aiming at total returns to investors that equate to a levered internal rate of return (IRR) of 10%-12%. It also targets an element of capital growth from re-investing excess cash flows generated beyond the dividend.

Credit Suisse is acting as global co-ordinator and bookrunner for the IPO on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

(EUR 1 = USD 1.137)

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