SOLEK closes a USD379 million financing for its portfolio of PV projects in Chile
Solar energy group SOLEK has closed a USD379 million financing for its portfolio in Chile, consisting of solar photovoltaic utility-scale and PMGD plants located in the Central Region. The fast-growing company in the renewable and solar energy sector owns a portfolio of approximately 284MWdc in Chile and has more than 400MW of projects in development stage in Latin America.
The comprehensive financing comprises the following facilities: A USD178 million senior private placement, A USD75 million mezzanine, a USD55 million PMGD bridge-loan facility, a USD37 million utility-scale bridge loan, a USD19 million LC Facility, and a USD15 million VAT line.
BNP Paribas and Natixis, New York Branch acted as placement agents, arrangers and lenders. BCI and Scotiabank Chile acted as agents and lenders on local facilities. White & Case and Guerrero Olivos acted respectively, as international and local legal counsels to the Company.
Entering the US private bond market with USD178 million issuance
Recently, the SOLEK company entered the major United States Private Placement market (USPP). The company has confirmed its attractiveness to investors and has gained flexible access to further financing. SOLEK is entering this new market with a 20-year bond issuance worth approximately USD178 million, or close to CZK 4 billion. The transaction had strong demand from investors, confirming the attractiveness of SOLEK's assets and the market's confidence in its long-term plans.
The USPP market is one of the largest and most sophisticated bond markets in the world. It is available to both, US and international companies. Active investors in the USPP market are represented by the largest international investment funds and insurance companies in the world.
"Thanks to the big opportunities that the renewable energy sector offers today, SOLEK has been experiencing a period of dynamic growth that implicates financing requirements. We had to meet stringent accreditation criteria to access financing on the USPP market. This flexible financing will allow us to focus on our PV projects and further development," said Zdeněk Sobotka, founder, and CEO of the SOLEK Group.
Companies entering the USPP market typically issue long-term bonds. In line with the market practice, SOLEK's USPP bonds have an amortizing repayment schedule with a maturity of 20 years, which aligns the debt profile to the life of the underlying investment. The proceeds from the USPP bonds will be used primarily to finance the company's expansion plans and to refinance existing debt, setting an important milestone for SOLEK´s continuous growth.
Since 2010, SOLEK has connected a total of 53 PV solar projects, 18 in Europe and 35 in Chile. The Group has currently more than 38 projects to be built in Chile in 2023 and 2024.
The total installed capacity targeted by the end of 2023 is 400 MW worldwide, most of them in Latin America. In Europe, PV solar projects with a total capacity of 1.4 GW are in the pipeline. The projects in Romania and Greece are at the most advanced stage of development. The first plants are planned to be connected in 2024.