Norway’s Aker Horizons acquires 75% stake in Mainstream Renewable Power

Mainstream’s 145MW Rio Escondido solar park under construction in Chile. Image: Mainstream Renewable Power.

Norwegian investment company Aker Horizons has acquired a 75% interest in Mainstream Renewable Power, valuing the solar and wind project developer at €1 billion.

Mainstream said the agreement paves the way for a “rapid acceleration” of its global expansion plans to bring 5.5GW of solar and wind assets to financial close by 2023. The company has a development pipeline of around 10GW, including large-scale solar projects in Chile – where it recently closed a US$280 million finance facility – and South Africa.

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Under terms of the agreement, the company will continue to operate as Mainstream, led by CEO Mary Quaney. Eddie O'Connor, an Irish businessman who founded Mainstream in 2008, will remain chairman and retain a minority interest in the business.

It was also announced that an initial public offering of Mainstream is planned to take place within the next two to three years.

“This partnership is the crucial next step in the vision we set out for Mainstream in 2008 to lead the global transition to renewable energy and rid the world of CO2 emissions,” O'Connor said. “It means we can widen our scope for entry into new markets and further deepen and expand our leadership position in existing ones.”

Aker Horizons, which is owned by industrial investment company Aker ASA, said the acquisition will enable the firm to accelerate the development of a global position within green energy.

“Mainstream's role as a pioneer in renewables and its strong entrepreneurial culture is a good fit as we carve out our path forward in the energy transition. Through the acquisition of Mainstream, Aker Horizons will gain a platform to drive forward its plans in renewable energy and position itself in a growing market for hybrid projects,” said Kristian Røkke, CEO of Aker Horizons.

As part of the transaction, Aker Horizons will also acquire a 50% holding in SuperNode, a company founded by Eddie O’Connor in 2018 that designs and develops superconductor cables to address the future need for higher capacity cables with lower power loss.

The Mainstream acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

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