Fast-expanding UK-focused clean energy investor Bluefield Solar Income Fund has bought 15 solar farms and four wind farms, and today announced a rights issue to fund more expansion.
The latest acquisition maxes out Bluefield’s current borrowing limits of £100 million, jointly provided by Santander and RBS International, the fund implied to investors this morning.
Both banks are happy to stretch that ‘accordion’ to £200 million, for review in May 2024. Bluefield’s qualifying shareholders have two weeks from today to subscribe for new shares issued at 130p.
By 9am this morning the rights issue had momentarily cooled off Bluefield’s surging share price. On the LSE knocked it dropped over 2%, down from yesterday’s twelve-month high of 135 pence.
Making its initial public offering in July 2013, Bluefield claims to be the first solar PV-focused investment firm to be listed on a major stock exchange.
Only two months ago Bluefield issued a second supplementary investment prospectus, adding to its first supplementary prospectus in February. Both offers embellished the fund’s intention announced last summer to issue 500 million new shares.
No details of the vendor or vendors in today’s deal were disclosed.
Today’s purchase is Bluefield’s largest yet, and continues September’s splashing out of £325 million on new assets made since September. It is the fund’s third acquisition of wind assets in twelve months.
Four wind farms account for 32.6 MWp of the buy. All are ROC-registered, at tariffs in the 0.9 to 1.0 range.
Of the solar PV installations, ten are accredited with tariffs of 1.2 to 1.6 ROCs. The remaining five receive subsidy under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) regime. Until 2035, fixed and regulated elements of today’s purchase will make up around 57% of its revenues, Bluefield told investors. The parties put net long term debt associated with today’s buy at £74.8 million.
Bluefield chair John Rennocks, pictured, said the firm continues to assess “a strong pipeline of opportunities across both primary and secondary markets”.
Santander UK’s project finance director Jonathan Corcoran said: “We are delighted to support Bluefield Solar with this revolving credit facility. Santander UK strongly supports clients such as Bluefield Solar that are bringing positive environmental change through their investment in the UK’s ability to produce a reliable flow of electricity from renewable sources.”