Norwegian renewables giant Statkraft is to acquire UK-headquartered solar developer Solarcentury, taking on a 6GW global portfolio in doing so.
The deal, struck at a purchase price of £117.7 million, will see Statkraft take on a pipeline of utility-scale solar projects in markets including Spain, Chile, Italy, Greece, France, the Netherlands and the UK.
Statkraft has maintained a target of developing at least 8GW of wind and solar by 2025, and the company said the acquisition – which also marked the renewables giant’s “renewed commitment to solar power” – will also play a major role in reaching that target.
The company also added that Solarcentury’s geographical footprint matched that of Statkraft’s existing development portfolio and market operations.
Furthermore, Statkraft said the deal would make the company a leading developer within Europe’s solar market, with the potential to become world-leading.
“Just like hydropower and solar power complement each other, Statkraft and Solarcentury are an excellent fit in terms of purpose and people. Joining forces will accelerate our growth and continue to drive the energy transition forward,” Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO at Stakraft, said.
News of a potential sale of Solarcentury was first mooted last Spring, when reports emerged that the company had engaged investment bank Evercore to oversee a potential auction of the company that, at the time, was expected to have fetched as much as £250 million.
Confirming those reports, Solarcentury CEO Frans van den Heuvel told sister publication Solar Power Portal that a sale was necessary to propel the company to the “top tier” of global solar development.
“To continue to grow at the pace that is possible given the market we’re operating in, we will benefit from a larger balance sheet and this has resulted in us seeking new ownership. Statkraft is the perfect match for us given their ambition to invest in and grow their solar portfolio,” Van den Heuvel said today.
Under the terms of the deal, Stakraft is to acquire 100% of shares in Solarcentury Holdings and its subsidiaries, buying out existing shareholders including Scottish Equity Partners, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Zouk Capital and Grupo Ecos.
The deal remains subject to regulatory and competition approvals, but is expected to completed by the end of the year.
Solarcentury’s last set of annual results, for the year ended 31 March 2020, showed the company recorded net profit of around £18.7 million, indicating an M&A multiple of 6.3.