Mitsubishi acquires 50% stake in Italian PV company

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Mitsubishi Corporation, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and investment company Solar Ventures have acquired Solar Holding, which has a PV portfolio of 42MWp in Italy.

After the transaction Mitsubishi will own 50% of the company, along with INCJ, a public-private partnership between the Japanese government and 19 other corporations, which will acquire 35%, and Solar Ventures with 15%.

Solar Holding has 19 plants, which are managed by Solar Ventures, located in the regions of Piedmont, Sardinia and Apulia. The company’s energy production capacity is claimed to meet the energy needs of 20,000 households.

Italy is the second largest country worldwide in terms of PV installations (around 16 GW) next to Germany (around 32 GW). Its abundant solar irradiation makes solar energy production highly efficient.

However, uncertainty clouds the market because the Italian government is yet to implement into law the final of new national energy strategy to support PV.

This is the first investment in Italy for Mitsubishi and INCJ. The three shareholders believe this to be a positive transaction which will help the Italian solar market to further develop and mature. The companies have plans to acquire an additional 100 – 150MWp of PV plants in the country in a bid to become one of the largest players in Italy. Solar Ventures and Mitsubishi will manage the origination and the transaction activities on behalf of the joint venture. After the acquisitions, Solar Ventures will provide plant management services.

“Italy is the country where we want to make our footprint in the solar market”, said Nobuaki Kojima, executive vice president of Mitsubishi. “Mitsubishi is very active in renewable investments in the world, and we believe that Southern European countries such as France and Italy are good markets for solar business. We are also very happy to partner with INCJ for solar business investments in Europe and with Solar Ventures, who has solid solar expertise and a strong management team, as local partner.”

“INCJ is looking at growth potential of solar IPP business as one of major power sources in global renewable energy market. For us, the investment in Solar Holding is a strategic investment with the aim to promote innovation and enhancing the value of businesses in solar IPP of the renewable energy sector. We are also very glad to establish a strategic partnership with MC, a Japanese frontrunner in this sector in Europe and with Solar Ventures, a local partner leaded by strong and well experienced management team,” said Kimikazu Noumi, President and CEO of INCJ.

“We are very proud and excited to partner with the largest Japanese trading company and the strategic fund of the Japanese,” said Michele Appendino, founder and chairman of Solar Ventures. “Through Mitsubishi’s very extensive worldwide IPP capacity and INCJ’s impressive financial strength and investment capability, this partnership will enable us to leverage our deep knowledge of the Italian solar market and our transactional and operational skills in the sector to jointly create one of the market leaders in Italy. We also hope that this partnership will be the first step towards a broader cooperation in other countries as well.”

INCJ claims to have the capacity to invest up to ¥2 trillion (approximately US$21 million).

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