Blackfinch targets core European solar markets in US$412m fundraise

By Charlie Duffield
Blackfinch has a seed portfolio of assets worth £232 million. Image: BRET.

Blackfinch Renewable European Income Trust (BRET) has announced its intent to raise up to £300 million (US$412 million) via a float to invest in renewable energy projects across Europe.

The intent to float, signalled today, will see BRET raise up to £300 million to invest in operational, in-construction and construction-ready renewable energy infrastructure assets in core European markets such as Portugal, Italy and Poland.

The company has a seed portfolio of assets worth around £232 million which are under option for purchase, with a further pipeline of assets worth in excess of £500 million which are under negotiation.

BRET’s initial focus is on investments in solar, wind and hydro assets, with a secondary focus on other assets including in hydrogen, storage and central district heating.

Commenting on the proposed IPO, Anthony Marsh, chairman at BRET, said: “Demand for renewable energy in Europe is enormous, and there is a critical undersupply,” adding that the investment trust would create a “portfolio of European renewable energy infrastructure assets capable of generating stable long-term cash flows”.

Richard Cook, chief executive officer of Blackfinch Group, added: “Blackfinch has a well-established track record of investment in the renewable energy sector. We look forward to using our experience and expertise in our role as investment manager and asset manager to generate the attractive dividend returns and capital growth that BRET is targeting.”

Blackfinch said it believes there is a robust flow of transaction opportunities available across Portugal, Italy and Poland in particular, as well as the UK, and that these countries provide a source of attractive investment opportunities.

For example, Portugal will carry out its third solar auction this September, with 500MW of floating PV capacity set to be allocated. Meanwhile, Poland has firmly established itself as the market to watch for PV deployment, as the country weans itself off coal-generation and aims to obtain 23% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

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