sPower concludes USD-499m refinancing

sPower's Solverde 1 solar farm in California. (Photo: Business Wire)

September 21 (Renewables Now) - US solar and wind power producer sPower said on Thursday it has closed a USD-498.7-million (EUR 423m) bond deal that helped finance roughly half of the company’s 1.3-GW portfolio of operating plants.

This latest investment grade private placement financing follows sPower’s USD-421.4-million debt issuance against about 565 MW of utility-scale solar and wind parks last year. The company noted that those two transactions represent some of the first ever widely-distributed back-leverage bond financings on tax equity partnerships. The new offering was significantly oversubscribed by a diverse group of US private placement investors, the announcement says.

sPower, which is a joint venture between The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES) and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), has used the proceeds from the fresh deal to refinance around USD 425 million of medium-term bank loans. The move has lengthened their tenor to a fully-amortising 23.5-year facility and removed the refinancing risk associated with previous bank loans.

“As the space continues to get more competitive, the importance of de-risking cash flows to preserve our margins has never been more important. We are also very pleased with the level of execution around term and rates,” said sPower CFO, David Shipley.

The company noted further that it will use the remaining proceeds to fund its continued development of additional renewable energy projects.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc acted as Ratings Advisor, Structuring Agent and Lead Placement Agent.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.849)

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