NextEnergy Solar Fund seeks to raise GBP 100m from share issue
UK solar park. Author: Robert Pittman. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
NextEnergy Solar Fund Ltd (LON:NESF) today announced the issue of its second tranche of preference shares, looking to raise gross proceeds of up to GBP 100 million (USD 121m/EUR 108m).
The company has signed a subscription agreement with an investment vehicle owned by Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) that calls for the issue of 100 million preference shares at GBP 1 per share. The transaction is expected to be completed on or around August 12, 2019.
NESF said it will use the proceeds to pay back existing short-term debt facilities, which amount to GBP 90 million and mature in February 2020 and July 2020. Also, it will apply a portion of the proceeds to invest in pipeline opportunities. The company noted that this issue allows it to further optimise its capital structure and boost cash flows.
On Friday, NESF announced that its portfolio had grown to 89 operating solar plants with a total installed capacity of 705 MWp following the connection to the grid of the 5.4-MWp Hall Farm II solar power plant in Leicestershire and the acquisition of an 8-MWp operating solar farm in Northern Ireland. While Hall Farm II is a subsidy-free project, the newly-acquired Ballygarvey asset receives 1.4 Northern Ireland ROCS (NIROCS) per MWh. NESF bought it for GBP 8.5 million.
Meanwhile, the company is progressing with the construction of the 50-MWp Staughton solar park, located on a former airfield on the Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire border. It expects to hook Staughton to the grid by the end of the year.