Foresight Group arranges acquisition for ForVEI to complete largest lease financing in Italian PV solar

22 September 2011

ForVEI S.r.l., the multilayer direct investment vehicle created in June 2011 by the biggest Italian and UK infrastructure investors (including majority stake holder VEI Capital, Quercus Renewable Energy Fund), has acquired three photovoltaic plants located in the Piedmont region, Italy for a total installed capacity of 13 MW from Spanish OPDE Investments SA (a subsidiary belonging to the OPDE Group, one of the largest European EPC contractors and solar equipment traders). This transaction – which was arranged and structured by Foresight Group - represents the biggest lease finance underwritten by a sole institution in solar in Italy and continues Foresight's strategy to significantly build its solar portfolio in Europe.

The assets, which were built in full equity by OPDE, have been financed via a sale and lease back leasing structure fully underwritten by Leasint S.p.A. and Centro Leasing S.p.A. (the two leasing banks of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group) for a total of circa €55 million.

The above transaction falls within a broader agreement with OPDE whereby ForVEI will acquire additional plants from the Spanish contractor for additional 20 MW by mid October 2011. This will bring ForVEI to a total of 40 MW fully operational by end of October 2011. Further transactions will follow shortly.

Federico Giannandrea, Partner, Foresight Group commented: "The size of this transaction is a good demonstration of the continuing appetite for quality assets in Italy and demonstrates strong confidence in the solar market in Europe. Our ability to pull it all together is testimony to the strength of Foresight's contacts and capabilities in this sector.”

The entire transaction from debt and equity side has been originated and arranged by alternative asset manager Foresight Group which has invested a considerable slice of the required equity via its managed funds. Foresight will also act as asset manager of the various plants.

For more information, please contact Intelligent Profile:

Emma Cantrill: / 01892 769958 / 07788 757377
Louise Barnett: / 01892 769952 / 07713 742685

Notes to Editors

Foresight is an independent alternative asset manager, which focuses primarily on investments in unquoted UK and European companies or projects and offers investors exclusive access to attractive income and growth opportunities.

Foresight manages £400 million across a number of funds, including Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).

In the solar sector, Foresight's solar funds have already invested in more than £200 million of operating PV assets in Italy, UK and Spain.

Other investments made by Foresight in the environmental infrastructure sector have included Crumb Rubber, a tyre recycling company; Vertal, a food waste recycling company; 2K Manufacturing, which manufactures a plywood substitute from waste plastics; Closed Loop Recycling, the UK's first recycler of waste plastic bottles back into food packaging material; O-Gen UK, which generates renewable electricity from biomass; and Land Energy, a producer of wood pellets for sustainable heating in homes and schools.