June 2019- Astris Closes 69.5 MW Solar Portfolio in Chile

Astris Finance is pleased to announce the successful closing of the 69.5 MW Arroyo Solar Portfolio Financing in Chile. The Portfolio includes a mix of greenfield and brownfield assets being developed under the regulated tariff structure of Pequeños Medios de Generación Distribuída (“PMGD”).

 

Astris served as the sole financial advisor to the Arroyo Energy Group, a private equity fund based in the United States, and Natixis arranged the financing.

May 2019 – Astris Completes Sale of Equity Interest in 300 MWp Solar PV Project in Spain

Astris Finance is happy to announce the closing of the Talasol transaction, the sale of an equity interest in a 300 MWp Solar PV project in Southern Spain. Ellomay’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Ellomay Luxembourg Holdings, S.à.r.l., sold 49% of the outstanding shares of Talasol Solar, S.L.U. (the "Project Company"), to GSE 3 UK Limited and Fond-ICO Infraestructuras II, FICC. Astris’ office in Madrid has worked for the past nine months to close this sale.

 

This Project Company is promoting the construction of a photovoltaic plant with a peak capacity of 300MW in the municipality of Talaván, in Extramadura Spain (the "Talasol Project").

 

The Talasol Project is one of the first PV projects in Spain to secure a PPA. Ran Fridrich, CEO and a board member of Ellomay, commented: "The entry of partners to Talasol, which is expected to be one of the largest photovoltaic projects in Europe, will mark the final milestone for financial closing and commencement of construction of the project, which will take place right after. The transaction enables us to create an optimal ownership structure that includes entities with advantages both on the local level and on the financial level, alongside the continued control of the project by Ellomay."

Ellomay Capital Ltd., an Israeli based public company, is a renewable energy and power generator, and developer of renewable energy and power projects in Europe and Israel.

 

Astris services as sole financial advisor for this transaction.

April 2019 - Astris Closes Debt Financing on Vietnam Solar Power Plant Project

Astris Finance is pleased to announce the successful closing of the debt financing for the 49.5-MWp Cat Hiep Solar Power Plant Project (the “Project”), arranged with one of Vietnam's largest banking groups.

 Quadran International developed the Project, in association with Truong Thanh Vietnam Group (TTVN). Astris Finance acted as the sole financial advisor to the project company and sponsors.

The Project is the first solar power plant developed in Vietnam by Quadran International. It is currently under construction, with the goal of reaching commission in June 2019. The target annual production of the Project is approximately 76.5 MWh, which will supply energy to 40,000 homes in South Central Vietnam. The Project secured a 14-year project finance package on a non-recourse basis.

A credit agreement between the Project company and the domestic bank was signed on March 7 at the French Embassy of Hanoi. His Excellency M. Bertrand Lortholary, Ambassador of France, was in attendance.

Hugo Virag, who heads Astris Finance’s operations in Southeast Asia, said, “We thank Quadran International for its confidence in Astris Finance’s ability to secure long-term project financing in a very short time frame. On the back of the first Vietnamese renewable debt financing that we closed in the wind sector in mid-2018, we were confident we could replicate the same project finance package in the solar sector while significantly fast-tracking the credit process. We achieved a time frame of four months from due diligence and structuring to signing the credit documentation."

Fabrice Henry, CEO of Astris Finance, said: “This transaction is another important milestone for both the Vietnamese renewable sector and the Vietnamese banking sector, as it sets a project finance standard in line with international best practices. This second closing in less than 12 months confirms the breakthrough of the wind financing we arranged in the summer of 2018 and bodes well for the future of renewable financing in Vietnam.”

For any inquiries, please contact Mr. Hugo Virag via email (hugo.virag@astrisfinance.com) or at +65 6809 3718

 

April 2019 - Astris Completes Sale of French Portfolio of 29 Solar Plants

Astris Finance is pleased to announce the successful sale of the Alpine portfolio of 29 solar plants owned by DIF to Terres d’Energie, whose majority stakeholder is Tenergie. Astris served as the sole financial advisor to DIF, an independent infrastructure fund manager. Alpine is the second transaction on which Astris has advised DIF, following the senior debt portfolio refinancing of the Durance solar PV assets in 2017.

The total capacity of this portfolio adds up to 107.8 MW, of which:
•    DIF III was a shareholder in projects which capacities totalled 97.8 MW
•    DIF IV was a shareholder in projects which capacities totalled 10MW

The portfolio included a mix of ground-mounted and rooftop assets, all of which entered commercial operation between 2009 and 2016. All projects benefit from 20-year Feed-in Tariffs. 

Andrew Freeman, Head of Exits of DIF, said: “We are pleased with the completion of the sale of the Portfolio that was successfully optimized throughout the life of the assets, starting with acquiring individual projects or small portfolios, bringing some of them through construction, completing refinancings of two sub portfolios in 2016 and 2017, recontracting and then exiting via a competitive portfolio sales process.”

DIF
DIF invests in greenfield and brownfield infrastructure assets located primarily in Europe, North America and Australasia through two complementary strategies:
•    DIF Infrastructure V targets equity investments in public-private partnerships (PPP/PFI/P3), concessions, regulated assets and renewable energy projects with long-term contracted or regulated income streams that generate stable and predictable cash flows.
•    DIF Core Infrastructure Fund I targets equity investments in small to mid-sized infrastructure assets in the energy, transportation and telecom sectors with mid-term contracted income streams that generate stable and predictable cash flows.

March 2019 - Astris Announces the Closing of Two Solar PV Deals in Mexico and Argentina with Neoen

Astris Finance is pleased to announce that our client, Neoen, has reached financial close on two Solar PV projects in Mexico and Argentina. We acted as financial advisor to Neoen beginning during each respective bidding process through financial close.

 

Astris served as the financial advisor on the Aguascalientes Project, a landmark project in Mexico. This was the largest project awarded a PPA in Mexico Third RE auction at 374 MWp, with the world’s cheapest solar PV PPA price at US$18.93/MWh. Astris secured financing for US$186m with competitive terms including a senior debt tenor of 19.5 years, door-to-door

 

In Argentina, Astris advised Neoen on the Altiplano Project, a combination of two projects, with power purchase agreements awarded in the RenovAr competitive tenders The financing consisted of two tranches, one with the participation of Proparco, DEG and ICCF, and the second with Societe General and KfW, including a coverage from BPIAE.

 

Neoen is France’s leading independent producer (IPP) of renewable energy. Neoen is active in France, Australia, El Salvador, Zambia, Jamaica, Portugal, Mexico, Mozambique, Finland, and Argentina and has assets in more than 15 countries.  

Astris acted as sole financial advisor to Neoen.

November 2018 - Astris closes the senior financing for the Arriaga-Tapachula road project in Mexico

Astris Finance is pleased to announce the successful closing of a MXN 3,000m (USD 160m) facility to finance the Arriaga-Tapachula highway conservation project. The project consists in the construction, modernization and maintenance of a 487 km road in the state of Chiapas. The project was awarded to a Consortium of local companies: Grupo Indi, Idinsa, Supra and Constructora Cañeros in May 2018. The non-recourse, 9.5 year door-to-door senior debt facility was signed with local lender Banorte, which also provided a MXN 538m (USD 28.8) VAT facility.

Astris Finance acted as sole financial advisor to the Consortium during the bid stage, and through the selection of the sole arranger and the structuring and closing of the bank facility.

October 2018 - Cerro Dominador Dual Technology Solar Complex in Chile's Atacama Desert Closes US$ 1bn Financing Package and Receives Two Deals of the Year Awards

Earlier this month the Project received two awards from Latin Finance: Best Renewable Energy Financing in Latin America and Best Infrastructure Financing, Andean Region.  
12 lenders participated in the financing, totaling c. US$ 1bn of commitments. 

Astris congratulates its client EIG Global Energy Partners (EIG) and its portfolio company Cerro Dominador on the successful funding of the final stage of construction for its 210 MW combined photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the Atacama desert in Chile - and on the two well deserved awards. 

The funding in July 2018 allowed for the repayment of certain bridge loans as well as payment for the issuance of notice to proceed to finalize the construction of the CSP plant which had been suspended. The PV plant is already operational and the CSP plant is expected to achieve COD during 2020. The works are being executed by Abengoa and Acciona under joint arrangements. Cerro Dominador’s CSP plant will be the first operational CSP plant in Latin America – marking the beginning of a new era for renewable power in Chile and the region.

Astris Finance served as financial advisor to EIG and Cerro Dominador on this landmark transaction which included the participation of twelve international project finance banks and institutional investors.  Astris advised on the Senior Debt Facilities (which included a senior loan, a VAT loan and a debt service reserve letter of credit) as well as a financing at the holding company level.

“The financing for Cerro Dominador illustrated Astris’ ability to build on its substantial track record in the Chilean energy sector with respect to both technology and size,” mentioned Tobey Collins, Managing Director and Head of the Astris Washington DC office.

Romain Papassian, Astris Director and deal team leader, further added “We were able to rise above the financing challenges associated with the project’s status as the first application of the CSP technology in the region as well as the project’s history to successfully close and fund on a timely basis.”

The Cerro Dominador financing was innovative in terms of technology, financing structure, and size – and Astris is proud to have been a part of this achievement together with EIG and Cerro Dominador. 

September 2018 - Sale of LANGA to ENGIE Green France

Astris Finance congratulates its clients, the shareholders of LANGA, for successfully completing the sale of LANGA to French energy leader ENGIE Green France. 

Founded in 2008 in Brittany, the LANGA group is one of the most active French independent producers of renewable energy. LANGA is present in solar, wind, biogas and biomass. LANGA is involved in the entire value chain of its projects, from development to construction and operation. Its portfolio of assets in operation is expected to reach 215 MW by the end of 2018, of which 165 MW in solar energy and 39 MW in wind energy. LANGA is also developing 1.3 GW of projects due to be completed by 2022. It demonstrated its competitiveness during the most recent CRE2 solar calls for tender, where it came in third with ENGIE taking first place.

Astris Finance served as exclusive financial advisor to the shareholders of Langa on this landmark transaction. The competitive process, was concluded in 6 months from start to finish. It benefited from a thorough vendor due diligence exercise which encompassing over 600 solar and wind assets in development or operation.

Gilles Lebreux, founder and CEO of the LANGA group, stated: “The clarity and determination shown throughout the acquisition proposal as well as the business proposal put forward by ENGIE were key factors in the decision of our shareholder group to project LANGA into the future. The management team has gradually been able to position itself as a major actor in the development of renewable energy in France and in particular in 2017, by winning many calls for tender launched by the CRE. The partnership with Terre et Lac and the support from Astris Finance, as financial advisor, have been major factors in the development of the LANGA group as well as in the timeliness of this alliance.”

Arnaud Germain, a Director in the Paris office of Astris and the Transaction team leader added: “The French renewable energy sector has now entered a consolidation phase, which is reflected by a number of recent, large-scale transactions. The profile of the historical players is naturally leading the sector towards consolidation to create more sizable and better capitalized entities, attracting larger investors. The sector is currently witnessing the execution of several consolidation operations in a variety of forms -- assets sale, acquisition of independent power producers, financial and/or strategic partnerships, where Astris Finance is ideally positioned to play a key role thanks to both its extensive track record in the global renewable space and its intimate knowledge of the French renewable industry.”

July 2018 - Cerro Dominador, LatAm's First CSP Plant Closes & Funds

Astris congratulates its client EIG Global Energy Partners (EIG) and its portfolio company Cerro Dominador on the successful funding of the final stage of construction for its 210 MW combined photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the Atacama desert in Chile. The financing which total almost USD one billion signed in May and received its first disbursement on July 3, 2018.

The funding allowed for the repayment of certain bridge loans as well as payment for the issuance of notice to proceed to finalize the construction of the CSP plant which had been suspended. The PV plant is already operational and the CSP plant is expected to achieve COD during 2020. The works are being executed by Abengoa and Acciona under joint arrangements. Cerro Dominador’s CSP plant will be the first operational CSP plant in Latin America – marking the beginning of a new era for renewable power in Chile and the region.

Astris Finance served as financial advisor to EIG and Cerro Dominador on this landmark transaction which included the participation of twelve international project finance banks and institutional investors.  

“The financing for Cerro Dominador illustrated Astris’ ability to build on its substantial track record in the Chilean energy sector with respect to both technology and size,” mentioned Tobey Collins, Managing Director and Head of the Astris Washington DC office. Romain Papassian, Astris Director and deal team leader, further added “We were able to rise above the financing challenges associated with the project’s status as the first application of the CSP technology in the region as well as the project’s history to successfully close and fund on a timely basis.”

The Cerro Dominador financing was innovative in terms of technology, financing structure, and size – and Astris is proud to have been a part of this achievement together with EIG and Cerro Dominador. 

July 2018 – Dam Nai Wind Project Closes on Vietnam’s First Non-Recourse Project Financing in the Non-hydro Renewable Energy Sector

Astris Finance is pleased to announce the successful closing of the debt financing for the 40 MW Dam Nai wind project (the “Project”) arranged with one of the largest Vietnamese banking groups.

This closing would not have been possible without the remarkable collaboration of the visionary stakeholders behind the Dam Nai wind project. Ahead of the market, these stakeholders worked together to apply the global wind industry’s best practices in respect of all aspects of project development -- design, construction, operation, environmental & social impact assessment and mitigation, and debt financing.

The Project has been developed by Singapore-headquartered The Blue Circle in association with local partner TSV Investments. In February 2017, Armstrong SEA Clean Energy Fund invested into the Project and since then has been acting as its financial sponsor. Astris Finance acted as exclusive financial advisor to the project company and its sponsors.

The Project was the first foreign-controlled wind farm project to reach commissioning in Vietnam, when its Phase 1 of 6MW achieved commercial operation in November 2017.

The seventeen-year financing for an amount in VND equivalent to approximately USD 45m signed in June and received its first disbursement on July 3rd, 2018. Its main purpose is to refinance a portion of the Phase 1 costs and to finance the construction of Phase 2. It is the first-ever long-term project finance package arranged for a non-hydro renewable project in Vietnam with no direct recourse against the sponsors and no credit enhancement solution.

Hugo Virag, who heads Astris Finance’s operations in South East Asia, said: “This is a landmark transaction for both the Vietnamese renewable sector and the Vietnamese banking sector. We hope it will greatly contribute to setting solid market standards for the Vietnamese renewable project finance sector, paving the way for the rapid expansion of renewable energy in Vietnam.”

According to the National Power Development Plan VII, as amended in 2016, Vietnam’s generation capacity is expected to grow from 45 GW currently to 130 GW in 2030 – with over 26 GW to be contributed by non-hydro renewable projects. This growth is unlikely to take place without a solid project finance framework in place.

Fabrice Henry, CEO of Astris Finance, said: “This transaction showcases one of the trademarks of Astris: our ability to patiently work with market participants to craft a financing structure that closes the contractual and regulatory gaps often present when a new energy market emerges.

We are both honoured and proud to have contributed to the advancement of the renewable energy market in Vietnam and are hopeful that the market will grow very strongly in the years ahead.”

For any inquiries, please contact Mr. Hugo Virag via email (hugo.virag@astrisfinance.com) or at +65 6809 3718

June 2018 - Astris closes the refinancing of a portfolio of operating wind assets in France

Astris Finance is pleased to announce the successful closing of a € 67 m facility to refinance a portfolio of operating wind assets owned by EOS (the “Sponsor”) and located across France (the “Portfolio”).

The Portfolio has a total installed capacity of 101 MW, spread over 9 plants. The plants were initially financed individually through non-recourse project finance facilities and were completed between 2006 and 2010. The Sponsor took advantage of the favorable market conditions and of the Portfolio’s operational track record to refinance the Portfolio at attractive terms. The Refinancing allows the Sponsor to extend the financing maturity, lower debt service payments and reduce financing costs.

The € 67 m facility was provided by CIC and BPI France. Astris Finance acted as exclusive financial advisor to the Sponsor in the structuring and raising of the € 67 m facility.

June 2018 – Astris closes the refinancing of the 150 solar PV power plants of Reden Solar, a French IPP held by Infravia and Eurazeo

Astris Finance advised Reden Solar, a French solar IPP held by Infravia and Eurazeo, in connection with the refinancing (the “Refinancing”) of its 78 MWp portfolio of operating rooftop PV assets in France (the “Portfolio”). Reden Solar has refinanced the 92 historic loans contracted from 17 commercial lenders over the past 6 years. Reden Solar took advantage of the attractive market conditions and of the Portfolio’s outstanding operational track record to refinance its existing debt. The refinancing allowed the sponsor to extend the maturity, lower debt service coverage ratios, replace the existing DSRA by a DSRF and reduce significantly the financing cost.

The EUR € 270 m senior debt facility was led by Société Générale, CA-CIB and Auxifip acting as co-Mandated Lead Arrangers, with the participation of BPI France.

As part of the transaction, Reden Solar raised an additional € 30 m junior debt facility from Acofi.

Astris Finance acted as exclusive financial advisor to Reden for the raising of the € 270 m facility, which is to date the largest refinancing facility structured for a portfolio of solar assets in France.

May 2018 – Astris closes the refinancing of Solaire Corsica in France

Astris Finance advised Engie Solar and Caisse des Dépôts (together the “Sponsors”) in connection with the refinancing (the “Refinancing”) of a portfolio of operating PV assets located in Corsica (the “Portfolio”), originally developed by SolaireDirect. The Portfolio has a total installed capacity of 13.1 MWp, spread over 3 ground-mounted power plants.

The € 67 m facility was led by la Banque Postale and BPI France acting as co-Mandated Lead Arrangers.

The Sponsors took advantage of the attractive market conditions and of the Portfolio’s outstanding operational track record to refinance its existing debt. The refinancing allowed the Sponsors to extend the maturity, lower debt service coverage ratios and reduce financing cost.

Astris Finance acted as exclusive financial advisor to the Sponsors for the raising of the € 67 m facility. Astris is currently mandated on several similar refinancing transactions in Europe for solar and wind power plant portfolios.

March 2018 - Astris voted Financial Advisor of the Year Latin America by IJ Global's Panel

We are very pleased to announce that once again Astris has been named Financial Advisor of the Year for Latin America, an award granted by IJ Global and selected by a panel of industry participants and experts. Astris Finance had been nominated together with SMBC, Santander, Macquarie Capital and Itau. The award was announced on March 15, 2018 at the Deal of the Year Award dinner in New York City. In the same award ceremony, the Celeo Redes bond financing, for which Astris served as financial advisor to the Sponsor, was also named Latin America Refinancing Deal of the Year.

The award caps an exciting year for Astris in Latin America, with seven deals closed and three bids won for major infrastructure projects across a variety of markets -- Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Panama and Brazil -- and a variety of sectors -- renewable energy, toll roads, ports, transmission lines and conventional energy.

In his remarks upon receiving the award, Astris Chief Executive Officer Fabrice Henry said: “An independent advisory firm like Astris relies on two great assets to build a successful track record: a solid base of outstanding clients with visionary leadership who year after year have been placing their trust in us; and a highly motivated team who never spares their effort and energy to deliver innovative financing solutions for our clients. I sincerely thank both our clients and our team members for making this award happen.”

March 2018 - Senior financing closes for Sacyr's Road Project in Mexico

Astris Finance is pleased to announce the successful closing of a MXN 1,970.6 Mn (USD 103.5 Mn) facility to finance the Pirámides – Tulancingo – Pachuca highway conservation project. The Project consist in the construction, modernization and maintenance of a 183 km road between the states of Mexico and Hidalgo and was awarded to a Consortium led by Sacyr Concesiones México in July 2017. The non-recourse financing is a 9.4 year door-to-door senior debt facility provided by Banco Interacciones.

Astris Finance acted as sole financial advisor to the Consortium during the bid stage, and through the selection of the sole Arranger and the structuring and closing of the bank facility.

January 2018 - Brazilian bioethanol plant reaches financial close

Astris Finance announces that it has closed an expansion financing for client Summit Brazil Renewables and its Brazilian subsidiary FS Bioenergia. FS Bioenergia owns and operates the first corn-based ethanol production facility in Brazil, located in Lucas do Rio Verde in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. The first phase of the facility entered into operations in mid-2017 and in February 2018 closed on a debt facility to finance the doubling of the plant’s capacity. Construction works are underway and the expansion is expected to be operational in 2019. Astris Finance served as exclusive Financial Advisor to Summit and FS Bioenergia.

January 2018 - Astris closes the refinancing of a portfolio of operating wind assets in France

Astris Finance is pleased to announce the successful closing of a € 180 m facility to refinance a portfolio of operating wind assets owned by Valorem (the “Sponsor”) and located across France (the “Portfolio”).

The Portfolio has a total installed capacity of 145 MW, spread over 12 plants. The plants were initially financed individually through non-recourse project finance facilities, and were completed between 2009 and 2016. The Sponsor took advantage of the favorable market conditions and of the Portfolio’s operational track record to refinance the Portfolio at attractive terms. The Refinancing allows the Sponsor to extend the financing maturity, lower debt service coverage ratios and reduce financing costs.

The € 180 m facility was led Auxifip (part of the Crédit Agricole group), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and La Banque Postale, acting as co-Mandated Lead Arrangers, with the participation of BPI France.

Astris Finance acted as exclusive financial advisor to the Sponsor in the structuring and raising of the € 180 m facility.

The Vasco transaction is the seventh renewable energy portfolio refinancing transaction performed by Astris Finance in 2017, totaling over € 1 bn of senior debt raised and more than 260 assets refinanced.

 

January 2018 - Astris Finance appoints Gonzalo Ruiz de Angulo as Director & Head of its recently opened Madrid office

Following the opening of the office back in November 2017, and the hiring of Juan Fabregas as first senior recruit for its Spanish team, Astris is now pleased to announce the recruitment of Gonzalo Ruiz de Angulo, a project finance banker with over 15 years of experience, who joined the firm on Monday, January 8, 2018 as Director & Head of the Madrid office.

Gonzalo has 15 years of experience in project and corporate finance and has acted as lead arranger as well as financial advisor on a wealth of infrastructure and energy deals primarily in Europe and Latin America. He joins Astris from ING, where he was the director leading the bank’s Latin American effort in the power space. Prior to this, Gonzalo worked for BBVA, where his last role was as Global Head of Energy, Oil & Gas, and Environmental Services. Formerly, he was head of Power for Latin America and Head of Renewable Energy for EMEA, always with a strong focus on financial advisory.

In total, Gonzalo spent 11 years at BBVA, including six in New York working on projects in Latin America and globally, and five in Spain, where he worked intensely in the Spanish renewable market as well as in other sectors and geographies.

Prior to BBVA, Gonzalo had spent three years on the developer side, at Enel Union Fenosa Renovables, based in Madrid, where he ended up as Head of Finance for the Iberian Peninsula.

Fabrice Henry, Astris’s Chief Executive Officer, commented on Gonzalo’s joining: “We are delighted to welcome such an experienced project finance banker as Gonzalo to the Astris family. Gonzalo’s background is a perfect fit to spearhead Astris’s development in the Iberian Peninsula and to strengthen our on-going relationships with Spanish and Portuguese sponsors on a global basis. I am convinced that Gonzalo’s entrepreneurial spirit and creativity will contribute to add significant value to our infrastructure and energy clients.”

December 2017 - Sponsor advised by Astris is awarded 378 MWp in the Third Mexican Long Term Renewable Energy Auction

We are pleased to announce that Neoen, advised by Astris Finance, was awarded a power purchase agreement (“PPA”) in the Third Mexican Long Term Renewable Energy Auction for a 378 MWp solar PV project in the state of Aguascalientes. Neoen’s project is the largest PV plant that was selected in the auction. The 15-year PPA  for energy and 20 year for clean energy certificates (“CEL”) start date is July 2020.

According to Mexico’s National Center for Energy Control (CENACE) which organized the auction, the average price of the projects awarded was USD 20.57/MWh, which makes Mexico the most competitive renewable energy market in Latin America. Among the winners, Neoen’s project is the largest renewable energy plant and offers one of the lowest prices.

Astris is now working with Neoen on the financing of the project for which closing is expected during the course of 2018.