Foresight targets new 250MW UK pipeline with fresh placing

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The company still regards the UK solar market as an attractive one for investment. Credit: SunEdison

UK-based Foresight Solar Fund has set its sights on a new pipeline of solar assets with a capacity of 250MW and announced a new share issuing and placing programme to fund it.

This morning the asset owner announced its intention to raise more than £50 million through an initial issue and placing programme, with up to 250 million new shares being issued in total over the coming 12 months.

Stating that the company still regards the UK solar market as an attractive one for investment – “particularly given the recent recovery in wholesale power prices,” Foresight said – the company confirmed that its investment manager has highlighted and continues to evaluate an operational pipeline worth 250MW.

The evaluation of a 250MW pipeline comes just weeks after Foresight concluded its most recent spending spree, acquiring more than 120MW of operational solar split between two of the UK’s largest sites.

A prospectus is expected to be published shortly, but Foresight did disclose that it is currently intended that the proceeds from the initial issues will be used first and foremost to repay revolving credit facilities (RCFs) which have been used to fund recent acquisitions.

Foresight’s current draw down from its RCFs amounts to £95 million, which will be repaid either in full of in part.

Remaining net proceeds – and credit remaining in the RCFs – will then be used to commit to further acquisitions.

Foresight is expected to set the pricing for its initial placing on 14 March prior to the company’s general meeting on 22 March. The results will be published a week later with shares despatched on or around 10 April.

Meanwhile the placing programme is to open on 4 April 2017 with the last date for new shares to be issued on 2 March 2018. 

Foresight has also placed a secondary listing with the securities exchange operated by the JSE in South Africa, having noted significantly rising interest from South African investors following the success of the country's renewable energy programme. the placement is a way around certain limitations set on South African investors looking to invest outside their own nation.

Foresight Group also recently entered Australia by acquiring a 25MW solar farm in Queensland, Australia, from Elecnor Australia.

Additional reporting by Tom Kenning.

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