22 January 2016

EF BRIEFS: Capstone, PRI, Juwi, KfW, Gothaer

Capstone bought by UK firm in $480m deal

Canadian renewables operator Capstone Infrastructure – formerly known as the Macquarie Power & Infrastructure Income Fund – will be acquired by a London-based fund in a $480 million deal.

iCon Infrastructure Partners III, via a subsidiary named Irving Infrastructure Corp, will buy all issued and outstanding shares for $4.90 each, representing a premium of 44% on the closing price of the firm's share price on 19 January.

RBC Capital Markets and TD Securities were advisors to Capstone on the deal.

Capstone, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, operates wind, hydro, biomass and solar assets, as well as natural gas.


PRI developing project to promote ESG in credit ratings

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is developing a project to encourage credit rating agencies to employ environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in a "more systematic" way.

The organisation plans to coordinate investors and agencies to discuss how ESG considerations can be "more systematically and methodologically" incorporated into assessments – especially in relation to fixed-income investing.

"Many credit ratings agencies already look at ESG factors, but the purpose of the project is to get them to do this in a more systematic way," the PRI told Environmental Finance.

The project, headed by the PRI's director of investment practices and reporting, Kris Douma, has been in development for four years following calls from signatories for better understanding of how ESG was integrated into ratings – such as those for sovereign bonds.

The PRI expects the project to be funded by "interested third parties".

US firm buys $110m of solar from Germany's Juwi

US-based firm PSEG Solar Source has acquired 66.6MW of capacity from German developer Juwi for $110 million.

PSEG has bought a 62.7MW site in Utah, which will become the company's largest asset. It is slated to become operational later this year and had a 20-year power purchase agreement in place with PacifiCorp. In addition, the deal includes a 3.9MW project in California, which is expected to be commissioned in coming weeks, and has a 20-year PPA in place with Western Area Power Authority.

The transaction will bring PSEG's portfolio to 14 assets across 10 states in the US, with a capacity of 214.6MW.


KfW returns to green bond market

KfW has become the third green bond issuer to launch a SEK1 billion ($116 million) transaction this month, as it tapped the market for the first time in 2016.

The notes, which are part of the AAA rated German development bank's ongoing green bond programme, have a five-year tenor and a coupon of 0.5%. They have a reoffer price of 99.73% and a spread of 13 basis points above mid swaps.

Nordea and SEB were lead managers on the deal.

Last week, both the European Investment Bank and the Nordic Investment Bank issued SEK1 billion green bonds.

Insurer Gothaer continues renewables activity with equity investment

German wind developer wpd AG has received equity backing from insurance company Gothaer, for a 110MW offshore wind project in the North Sea.

Gothaer, which agreed a partnership last year with renewables firm Capital Stage that was named Environmental Finance's 'solar deal of 2014', has taken an undisclosed stake in the Nordergrunde project. Gothaer told Environmental Finance that it was a "minority stake", but would not confirm further details.

The project bagged €410 million of debt from the European Investment Bank and KfW IPEX Bank last summer, but has now secured Gothaer – via its renewables arm, Gothaer Lebel Renewables – as a co-investor. It is seeking further investors.