Sat. Apr 20th, 2019

JP Morgan and the Canadian pension funds Omers and CPPIB join the bid for X-Elio | Companies

JP Morgan and the Canadian pension funds Omers and CPPIB join the bid for X-Elio | Companies



Spanish renewable energy has emerged as one of the poles of attraction of foreign capital. So much so that KKR, the current owner of X-Elio, has received interest samples from investors around the world. The latter have been JP Morgan's fund manager - through its subsidiary for investment in renewables, Sonnedix - and Canadian pension funds CPPIB and Omers, according to financial sources.

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The venture capital fund piloted in Spain by Alejo Vidal-Quadras started the sale of its investee in 2018, previously called Gestamp Solar, according to CincoDías. For this he hired Citi and the investment banking division of Macquaire as advisers. The valuation was between 1,000 and 1,200 million. The founders of Gestamp, the Riberas family, will also shake off the 20% that they hold in the company.

Financial sources indicate that the process has just been launched as such and is still in an incipient phase. The possible contenders have only shown their interest and are waiting to send their non-binding offers. The best bidders will then go to the final stage, where they will make their firm offers, after having completed their respective auditing processes (due diligence, in the jargon).

At the moment, there are three more funds have been willing to bid for X-Elio. It is about Orix, of American origin, the giant Brookfield and a consortium of Macquaire and Iberdrola. The latter is interested in the parks that already operate and in future projects but not in those that are pending construction, according to financial sources.

Repsol seeks to invest the money obtained from the sale of its 20% stake in Naturgy to CVC and Corporación Financiera Alba to increase its exposure to renewables, after having purchased its assets in the hydroelectric sector from Viesgo. Like the electric company chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Galán, Repsol is not interested in projects under development, according to financial sources.

The two big Ibex must fight against financial investors, who have put the Spanish renewable sector in the bullseye. CPPIB, Omers, Macquaire and Brookfield want to emulate the recent transaction of Aimco, Alberta's pension fund, which is about to close the purchase of Eolia from Oaktree. Also in recent weeks Cerberus has seen its appetite revitalized by Renovalia, after more than a year in dry dock.

KKR itself has decided to take advantage of the appetite for the sector and has sold its minority stake in Acciona Energía.

Sonnedix, for its part, is already a reference investor in the Spanish renewable sector. A year ago, he hit the table when he acquired 12 photovoltaic plants in Spain with a power contracted by 46.7 megawatts. It also has an agreement with the investment boutique Q-Energy.

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