European solar project developer and operator Wirsol is sounding market appetite for a $500 million-odd sharemarket listing of its Australian portfolio.
Street Talk can reveal Wirsol representatives will front fund managers this week, seeking to drum up interest in its Australian arm, dubbed Bright Acre Energy, ahead of a mooted run at the ASX-boards.
Bright Acre Energy has five solar projects spread across Victoria and Queensland, each due to be connected to the national power grid by the end of the year.
The five projects have a combined 400 megawatts of capacity, which would be enough to power about 130,000 houses.
Its projects include the recently commissioned Gannawarra solar project in Victoria, which is supported by a 50 MWh Tesla Powerpack battery, making it one of the largest solar and battery storage systems globally, and Australia's biggest.
Bright Acre Energy chief executive Bill Calcraft, a former Australian rugby union player who led a €2 billion solar funds portfolio for Allianz Capital, will kick off the pitch at investor meetings starting in Sydney on Tuesday.
He is expected to be joined by Wirsol's UK managing shareholder Mark Hogan.
Bright Acre is likely to be pitched as a source of stable cash flow - once the projects are up and running - with high quality contracted counterparties such as EnergyAustralia and the Queensland government.
The company would also have access to a pipeline of future growth opportunities presented by solar developer Wirsol, with the opportunity to acquire projects with at least another 700MW being developed by Wirsol and its partners.
UBS is leading the non-deal roadshow and has booked fundies in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
The company is also understood to have Blue Ocean Equities and National Australia Bank on board to assist in the market soundings.
Should Bright Acre proceed to an initial public offering, it would be expected to have about a $500 million market capitalisation and would be the largest pure play solar company on the ASX.
It is the second big solar company to be pitched to Australian investors in the past six-months. The other was US-focused New Energy Solar, an externally-managed fund which raised $205 million in an initial public offering via Morgan Stanley late last year.
In some ways, New Energy Solar will have helped lay the groundwork for Bright Acre and others. The company spent plenty of time talking investors through the strong growth forecast in solar energy generation in coming decades which will need to be underpinned by a big investment.
Read more: http://www.afr.com/street-talk/wirsol-sparks-500m-australian-solar-ipo-ubs-on-board-20180416-h0ytbn#ixzz5E9h4hfCc
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