Quercus Asset Selection issues $131 million bond issue to fund solar investments and a special dividend on renewable funds
Written By: Stratton Report
December 23, 2016
On December 23, Quercus Asset Selection, announced the completion of what the firm described as the largest bond issue to date in Italy. Per the firm, the bond issue was carried out to optimize the debt structure of its portfolio.
According to Quercus, the bond issue will fund a portfolio of solar power plants via its subsidiary Azienda Solare Italiana, as well as distributing its first special dividend, equating to approximately 20%, from its Italian Solar Fund, launched earlier this year.
The bond issue, named ASI Brainwave 2, consisted of €125 million ($131 million) at a 2.5% coupon rate with an expiration date of 20 years.
Per Quercus, the bond offering was oversubscribed by almost 3 times, with the majority of buyers originating from the insurance industry.
Quercus emphasized that this special dividend is being funded less than a year after the launch of the Italian Solar Fund and a few weeks after the first closing of €150 million ($157 million) for the combined Italian Wind fund, Italian Solar fund and European MultiTech fund.
The firm stressed that ownership of ASI is split evenly between Quercus and Swiss Life, the highly regarded Swiss insurance group rated AAA by S&P.
Diego Biasi, CEO of Quercus noted:
“Due to the debt restructuring and other efficiency measures, we have managed to free up financial resources that will go towards a special dividend of approximately 20% of the capital invested by the Quercus Italian Solar Fund. The payment will be made in two stages: one before Christmas, and the other after the approval of the 2016 financial statements. We are extremely pleased to be able to return significant value to our longstanding and supportive shareholders”
Vito Gamberale, Chairman of Quercus observed:“We have been extremely effective at realising the investment opportunities that we identified and we have turned investors’ commitments into actual and highly profitable investments in a very short time.”