Octopus eyes £1.3bn of clean power projects, seeks £100 million towards buying them


Asset managers Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) have signalled they’re hitting the acquisition trail again. The company has is seeking a £100 million injection of fresh equity, as it targets a wish list of European PV and wind opportunities totalling £1.3 billion.

London-listed ORIT told investors this week it intends issuing a total of 96.6 million new ordinary shares at 103.5 pence each.

That’s a 3.5% discount to Wednesday’s closing price of 107.20 pence.  But analysts point out the issue price is a 6.3% premium on its last net asset value, declared in March at an unaudited 97.39 pence per share.

Wind and solar assets in the UK, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Sweden and Finland are now in ORIT’s sights.  The fund has done early due diligence on several, making some non-binding offers, it told investors.   Around £256 million of the wish list’s gross value is under exclusive negotiations with the firm. Over 71MW of those are held in Octopus Managed Funds.

Octopus’s existing portfolio of 315MW capacity embraces 22 solar parks and two wind farms.   Early last year ORIT paid £143 million in cash, part of its IPO proceeds of £250 million, to buy eight solar farms.

Since March alone this year, the group has

ORIT chairman Phil Austin said he was happy with this week’s equity raise. It followed 18 months of “good progress” for ORIT as a listed fund.

Investment director Chris Gaydon added, “This fundraising will enable us to maximise the opportunities from our strong pipeline of potential investments, continue our growth trajectory and develop the portfolio further”.

In March, ORIT hailed the success of its inaugural year, reaching a gross asset value of £441 million.

The acquisition plan needs approval from shareholders. This is likely to come at a general meeting early next month.

By 14:30 hours today (Fri 11), ORIT’s share price had drifted 0.7% lower, to 104.47 pence.


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