KKR, Munich Re acquire 49% of European solar portfolio

US alternative assets firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and German insurer Munich Re have taken a 49% stake in assets operated by its solar photovoltaic subsidiary, Grupo T-Solar.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), the US-based alternative assets giant, and a unit of Munich Re, one of the world’s largest insurance groups, have teamed up to acquire a 49 percent stake in assets operated by Grupo T-Solar, Europe’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) power generator. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. Munich Re is making its investment through asset manager MEAG. 

Grupo T-Solar is a subsidiary of Isolux Corsan, the Spanish developer which was earlier reported to have unified all its global concession activities – including Grupo T-Solar – under the umbrella of a single new company, Isolux Infrastructure Projects.

The deal sees KKR and Munich Re acquire 49 percent of Grupo T-Solar’s existing operating assets, which have seen total capital expenditure to date of almost €1.1 billion. Grupo T-Solar will retain a 51 percent stake and provide management services to the assets, which will be housed in a new company, known as T-Solar Global Operating Assets. The new company will have the option to acquire new solar plants developed by Grupo T-Solar once they are fully operational.

The existing assets comprise 42 solar PV plants (34 in Spain and 8 in Italy), with an aggregate installed capacity of 168 megawatts (MW) and a generation capacity of over 250 gigawatts per year of clean energy. In a statement released today, T-Solar chief executive Juan Laso said the group’s business plan envisages capacity increasing to over 500 MW by 2014.

In a statement, KKR European head of infrastructure Jesus Olmos said: “KKR is continuing to develop its infrastructure platform, and we see renewable energy as one of the most promising areas of infrastructure. We also believe that the Spanish renewables sector is currently an attractive investment destination. T-Solar’s plant portfolio comprises core infrastructure assets providing stable and long-term cash flow visibility as well as offering significant growth potential.”

For KKR, the deal is its second in the European renewable energy infrastructure space in the last couple of months. Towards the beginning of June, it formed a €236 million joint venture with Italian energy company Sorgenia to operate French wind parks with an operational capacity of 153 MW, with a further 95 MW to be added over the next 18 months.

KKR held a $515 million second close on its debut infrastructure fund towards the end of last year. Headed in New York by Marc Lipschultz, the team also manages a $1.1 billion separate infrastructure account on behalf of Korea’s $270 billion National Pension Service.

At the end of last week, Munich Re was part of a consortium of insurers and pensions which acquired a 74.9 percent stake in Amprion, the largest of four German transmission system operators, from utility RWE. The deal was based on an overall enterprise value of €1.3 billion.