Glennmont Partners taps Orrick as legal advisor on Italian wind portfolio sale - sources

11 June 2020 - 06:52 am UTC

by Micaela Osella in Milan

Glennmont Partners has recently mandated Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe to act as the legal advisor on the upcoming sale of a 245 MW onshore wind portfolio in Italy, two sources close to and four sources familiar with the matter told Mergermarket.

 

Fichtner Italia has also been mandated to perform technical due diligence, all of the sources said.

 

The London-based fund manager is amid a beauty parade to select a financial advisor to lead the sale, which is due to kick off later in the summer, as per a 9 June report by sister publication Sparkspread.

 

Rothschild and L&B Partners are among those pitching for the sell-side role, the previous report noted.

 

Lazard is also in the mix to win the role, the four sources familiar said, noting that pitching banks will receive feedback from the vendor within two weeks.

 

Rothschild is the frontrunner to receive the mandate given that it has assisted Glennmont Partners in previous deals, such as the sale of a 90MW Italian solar portfolio in May 2018, two of the sources familiar said.

 

Rothschild, L&B and Orrick also assisted in that previous sale, same two sources noted, and as per press reports at the time.

 

Glennmont, Orrick, Fichtner, Rothschild and Lazard declined to comment.

 

The portfolio coming to the market includes five wind farms, generating an overall capacity of 245 MW, located in Southern Italy and held within the Societa Energie Rinnovabili (SER) and SER 1 special purpose vehicles, as reported. They are based in the small cities of Lago Arancio, Rocca Ficuzza, Nebrodi and Alcantara, in Sicily and Santa Agata, in Puglia.

 

Italian strategics, such as A2A, Eni, and EDF-owned Edison, for example, could target the portfolio, as might local state-owned infrastructure fund F2i, France's Engie, or private equity firm Ardian, three of the sources familiar said. The portfolio could be worth approximately EUR 500m, these three sources added.

 

Glennmont acquired the portfolio in 2016 from Spanish utility Iberdrola, via its Clean Energy Fund Europe II, for a total consideration of EUR 193.7m, as per company announcements.

 

This implied an enterprise value of EUR 416m at the time of the transaction, including EUR 222.3m of net debt, according to Inframation database.

 

In October 2017, Glennmont completed a refinancing of the portfolio through a listed bond offering, a first in the Italian renewables market.

 

The EUR 190m single bond issuance took place on the ExtraMOT trading segment of the Borsa Italiana stock exchange and was underwritten by an institutional investor. Natixis and UniCredit acted as joint bookrunners on the transaction.

 

Glennmont has begun divesting the EUR 500m Clean Energy Fund Europe II, which reached a final close in late 2014. In April, it tapped Green Giraffe to advise on the sale of an 85 MW French wind portfolio held in the fund, according to previous Sparkspread reports.

 

At the end of May, Glennmont fully realised its Clean Energy Fund Europe I with the sale of the Sleaford biomass plant in the north of England to funds managed by Greencoat Capital.