ForVEI joint venture acquires a portfolio of OPDE PV plants for €88 million

22 November 2011

ForVEI, the multishareholder vehicle, has completed the acquisition of a portfolio of OPDE (one of the main Spanish contractors) PV plants for an installed power of 8MW and an enterprise value of €33 million. Foresight Group advised on the transaction and acted as originator, structurer, arranger and manager.

ForVEI is a joint venture comprising VEI Capital, Foresight Solar VCT and Quercus Renewable Energy, which is backed by primary investors including Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G), Intesa Sanpaolo, Palladio Finanziaria SpA, Veneto Banca SpA and Banca Popolare di Vicenza Scrl.

The acquisition was supported by a lease back financing of €33 million (45 million USD) which has increased the entire ForVei/OPDE PV Plants enterprise value to over €88 million (120 million USD). This acquisition follows the acquisition of the initial three OPDE PV plants for an enterprise value of €55 million announced in September. Together they represent the largest lease financing of PV plants arranged by a single bank in Italy. Two Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP) Group leasing companies own the PV plants for 18 years with ForVei paying a monthly rental fee. The two projects are expected to yield an annual equity return of 13%.

This year Italy has been one of the most effective markets in the world in solar energy with an additional 6.5GW of PV Plants connected to the grid according to the Italian Power Controller. This is three times the amount of PV energy connected in Germany over the same period. Italy now has a total of 10GW installed PV power.

Pietro Zerauschek, Foresight Group Managing Partner Italy and leader of the Italian Solar Team declared: "We are very satisfied at completing the acquisition of the entireOPDE PV plants portfolio. Thanks to this operation, ForVei now handles a portfolio of over 28MW with a medium average annual return of 13%. The completion of the acquisition demonstrates that there is still interest for lenders in quality projects sponsored by high level investors, despite continuing pressure on markets”.

Diego Biasi, Founder Partner and Portfolio Manager of Quercus added: "We are very pleased to increase our investment in ForVei. Our portfolio of PV plants in Italy is gaining institutional dimensions and we are prepared to continue with our strategic investment plans to close early additional relevant acquisitions both independently and through this joint venture".

Simone Borla, Founder Partner of Quercus also commented: "the ForVei partnership is extremely effective and we believe that our second fund, Quercus Renewable Energy Fund II, which is currently fundraising among institutional partners, will benefit from the investment opportunities identified by Quercus and Foresight Group which can be financed via the relevant relationships with different banks that ForVei and its shareholders have consolidated through the activities accomplished in 2011”.

ENDS

For further information:

Foresight Group:

Ben Thompson +44 1732 471855 or email bthompson@foresightgroup.eu
Federico Giannandrea +44 1732 471800 or email fgiannandrea@foresightgroup.eu

Quercus Assets Selection:

Simone Borla +44 20 34273961 or +39 338 7301830
or e-mail simone.borla@quercus-partners.com
Diego Biasi +44 7979 658025 or email diego.biasi@quercus-partners.com

VEI Capital

Mariano Zaccariotto +39 0444 650500 or +39 348 7130159
or email m.zaccariotto@palladiofinanziaria.it

Leasint:

Luca Morgera +39 02 879 68 711 or +39 02 87968711
or email luca.morgera@leasint.it

Notes to editors

About Foresight Group

Foresight Group LLP 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 Group recently announced the launch of a £30m fundraise in Foresight Infrastructure VCT Shares, a new share class offering similar risk and return characteristics to the Solar VCT through a diversified portfolio of assets in Secondary PFI, Onsite Power and Energy Efficiency.

Foresight Group manages assets in excess of £600 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 £300 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.

http://www.foresightgroup.eu

About Quercus Assets Selection Sàrl

Quercus Asset Selection is a Luxembourg based management company specialized in Private Equity investments. The company was founded in 2010 by Simone Borla and Diego Biasi in partnership with Giuseppe Stefanel, the controlling shareholder of Milan listed Stefanel Group. Mr Stefanel is also the seed investor of Quercus Renewable Energy Fund, a Luxembourg based SICAV-SIF regulated by the CSSF, whose core business is to invest in Italian Photovoltaic plants. The Fund acquired an interest in 9 plants for circa 42MW of power and has a pipeline of over 35MW of projects to be completed before year end. The Company is planning the launch of a second Fund investing in renewable energy projects on a pan-European basis. Quercus Asset Selection is part of a larger group including London based Quercus Investment Partners LLP, an FSA regulated firm offering amongst other things advisory services to Institutional clients.

www.quercusfunds.com

About Leasint

Leasint is a company owned by Intesa Sanpaolo Group. It has been running since 1 January 2008, following the merger integration of Sanpaolo Leasing in Intesa Leasint.

The company is a market leader with a portfolio of 50,000 customers and 17 billion euro in loans. It has a staff of 370 specialists and distributes its products through the 6,000 branches of Intesa Sanpaolo Group. Leasint has 38 years experience in leasing and is active in both all customers and products sectors. Leasint is a leader above all in the sector of financing facilities for the production of renewable energy, with the experience of 690 plants for 1 GW of power.