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Scatec Solar acquiring Norwegian hydropower developer SN Power

Scatec Solar has signed a binding agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in SN Power AS, a hydropower developer and independent power producers, from Norfund for a total equity value of USD 1.166 billion.

According to a press release, the acquisition forms an important part of Scatec Solar’s broadened growth strategy, with an ambition to become a global large-scale player in solar, hydro, wind and storage solutions and an integrator of high-value infrastructure solutions.

Scatec Solar and SN Power have a complementary portfolio of assets, geographical footprint and capabilities and will together hold a large project pipeline across solar, hydro, wind and storage, Scatec Solar said.

The transaction includes SN Power’s portfolio of hydropower assets in the Philippines, Laos and Uganda, with a total gross capacity of 1.4 GW (net 0.5 GW) and gross median production of 6.1 TWh (net 1.8 TWh). SN Power has a project pipeline totaling gross 2.5 GW mainly across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Scatec Solar will further accelerate growth and have a combined project pipeline of 9.5 GW across solar, hydro, wind and storage.

The combined company will have 450 employees, power plants in 14 countries and gross 3.3 GW of plants in operation and under construction. When all plants are in full operation from early 2021, median annual production is expected to be 4.1 TWh.

“Hydropower and solar PV are complementary technologies, resulting in new project opportunities, for instance floating solar on hydro reservoirs. With this transaction we see great potential in broader project origination and geographical expansion into growth markets in South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. SN Power adds scale and significant cash flow from operating plants and will raise stakeholder value; benefiting customers, employees, shareholders, business partners and the societies in which we operate,” says Raymond Carlsen, chief executive officer of Scatec Solar.

Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for developing countries, has been a long-term partner of Scatec Solar in a private-public partnership. As part of this transaction, the parties will establish a new joint venture for SN Power’s Sub-Saharan Africa hydro assets and to develop the hydropower pipeline in the region. Norfund will retain a 49% stake and Scatec Solar hold 51% in the joint venture and Scatec Solar will be the operator.

“Norfund’s investment in SN Power has contributed to job creation, improved living conditions and avoided carbon emissions. By mobilizing private capital in SN Power, we can recycle significant funds for new investments, demonstrating the effectiveness of using development aid to invest in clean energy in developing countries,” says Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO of Norfund.

Regarding the strategic benefits of the transaction, Scatec Solar said, “Hydropower has inherently attractive characteristics including storage, perpetual asset life, and low operational risk and gearing.”

With SN Power, Scatec Solar said it will strengthen its position as a partner for governments and communities that are seeking economic growth. The company will also be more relevant for corporate customers seeking cleaner and more affordable energy and for shareholders who wish to position themselves in the rapidly growing renewable energy space.

The acquisition is fully funded through a combination of cash available from Scatec Solar’s balance sheet, a US$200 million vendor note, a US$150 million term loan and a US$700 million acquisition financing from Nordea, DNB, BNP Paribas and Swedbank. The acquisition finance is available until 12 months after transaction close and is expected to be refinanced through debt and equity.

J.P. Morgan (financial), SpareBank1 Markets (financial), Advokatfirmaet Selmer (legal), King & Spalding (legal), EY (financial and tax due diligence), Multiconsult (environmental and social due diligence) and Sweco (technical and environmental and social due diligence) acted as advisors to Scatec Solar in connection with the transaction.