BP increases stake in Lightsource in bid to accelerate growth

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Image: Lightsource BP.

O&G major BP has increased its stake in international solar developer Lightsource BP in a bid to accelerate the firm’s growth.

BP will now take an equal, 50:50 share in Lightsource BP under the new structure, facilitated by BP purchasing additional equity.

The proceeds from that sale of new shares will be invested back into Lightsource BP and used to pursue a solar development pipeline that spans multiple continents and stands in excess of 12GW.

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but BP will gain additional nominees on Lightsource BP’s board to reflect the equalised share. Strategic decisions will continue to be jointly taken by the two shareholder groups, the companies said.

The new transaction comes effectively two years after BP first acquired a 43% stake in London-headquartered Lightsource for a fee of around US$200 million. Since then, Lightsource BP has expanded its reach from five countries to 13, taking in some of solar’s hottest global markets such as Australia and Spain.

Nick Boyle, chief executive at Lightsource, said that while the company has already made “huge strides forward” with BP’s presence, there remains “so much more we can do together”.

Dev Sanyal, chief executive at BP’s Alternative Energy division, said that solar was set to play a key role in the ongoing energy transition, reinforcing the company’s motive to invest more in Lightsource BP and “deepen” its partnership.

“We want to advance the solar energy business worldwide and we can bring scale, capability and resources to make that happen. We are proud to be advancing solar alongside such a dynamic partner,” Sanyal commented.

The prospects and challenges of solar's new era in Europe and beyond will take centre stage at Solar Media's Solar Finance & Investment Europe (London, 5-6 February) and Large Scale Solar Europe 2020 (Lisbon, on 31 March-1 April 2020).

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