Acciona shareholders give green light to IPO of renewables unit

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Acciona’s El Romero Solar plant in Chile. Image: Acciona.

Spanish energy company Acciona has secured shareholder approval for an initial public offering (IPO) of its renewables division, providing a boost for the firm’s plans to reach 6GW of installed PV by 2025.  

Shareholders today (12 April) authorised the company’s board of directors to carry out the floatation process for at least 25% of Acciona Energía “whenever it deems appropriate”. The intention of the board is to maintain a stake of around 70% of the unit after the transaction.

Acciona announced in February its ambition to float its energy division on the stock market to reduce its capital costs and strengthen its balance sheet.

It is hoped the IPO will help the company increase its installed energy capacity from around 10.7GW to 20GW by 2025. In terms of installed solar PV, capacity is expected to soar from 1,236MW as of December 2020 to approximately 6GW by 2025.

With current market trends pointing to a strong demand for sustainable infrastructure and clean energy, the energy unit IPO “would provide us the opportunity to accelerate our growth with the right cost of capital and a better balance sheet structure”, said Acciona CEO José Manuel Entrecanales when the company reported its 2020 financial results in February.

The firm posted a 10% year-on-year decline in revenues to €6.47 billion (US$7.7 billion) in 2020, in part due to the impact of COVID-19 on electricity demand in Spain. EBITDA was down 21.8% to €1.12 billion, with a €221 million impact from the pandemic.

Last year, the company completed a 94MW solar PV project in Chile and broke ground on what will be its seventh renewables project in the South American country, the 238MWp Malgarida complex. It has since announced plans for a joint venture with US hydrogen fuel cell maker Plug Power to develop a green hydrogen platform in Spain and Portugal.

Shareholder approval for the IPO comes amid a flurry of similar announcements by Spanish solar players in recent months. Both independent power producer Opdenergy and renewables developer Ecoener revealed plans for their own IPOs last week, while tracker manufacturer Soltec listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange in October.

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