February 6 (Renewables Now) – Spanish photovoltaic (PV) projects developer X-Elio, owned 80/20 by US private equity fund KKR (NYSE:KKR) and Spanish engineering company Gestamp (BME:GEST), is on the market with four suitors lined up to buy it, several local media reported Monday evening citing financial sources.
So far, Canadian asset manager Brookfield (TSE:BAM.A), Japan’s Orix Group (TYO:8591) and Spanish utility Iberdrola (BME:IBE) and oil and gas company Repsol (BME:REP) have presented their bids for X-Elio for what will be a deal estimated at up to EUR 1 billion (USD 1.14bn), sources close to the operation told Spanish business news outlet Expansion.
Spanish oil and gas company Cepsa has also been invited to participate, however, it has not presented a bid, according to business newspaper Cinco Dias.
X-Elio has a PV portfolio of more than 650 MW and 41 solar plants in operation, according to its website. The company's owners have hired Citi and Macquarie, as well as Spanish law firm Uria Menendez, to coordinate the sale, which is currently in the phase of receiving non-binding offers, El Confidencial reported.
One of the rumoured bidders, Repsol, is reported to have long been interested in X-Elio in an effort to become “greener”.
In January 2018, Expansion claimed that Repsol was eyeing both X-Elio and another Spanish renewables developer – Renovalia, owned by US private equity firm Cerberus. Back then, the oil company declined to comment on such acquisition plans, according to the same report.
Months later, Repsol bought unregulated low-emissions power generation operations from Spanish energy company Viesgo along with a portfolio of 750,000 retail customers.
With Viesgo’s assets in its possession, the oil company obtained the licence to operate as a retail electricity distributor through its newly established unit Repsol Electricidad y Gas.
Last Friday, EDP Renovaveis (ELI:EDPR) said that its executive and board member Joao Paulo Costeira had resigned effective on February 15. On Monday, Expansion reported, citing sources in the know, that Costeiro turned up in Repsol to support the company’s new retail business, at the same time the oil company is said to have renewed its interest in X-Elio.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.14)