AMP Capital’s Infrastructure Debt team has closed a €245 million mezzanine debt investment with France-based renewable energy provider Neoen.
Neoen is headquartered in Paris and active across the renewables space including solar and wind, and currently operates in ten countries including France, Australia, Mexico and Argentina. It is the largest independent producer of renewable energy in France, and the third largest overall energy provider in the country.
The mezzanine financing was closed in three cross-collateralised currency tranches (EUR, USD and AUD) on 14 December 2017, and has been validated as a Green Bond following ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) due diligence by Vigeo, a recognised sustainability expert.
The loan will provide financing for secured construction projects for a global 1.6GW portfolio of onshore wind and solar photovoltaic assets, located predominately in France and Australia.
AMP Capital Infrastructure Debt Partner Simon La Greca said: “Neoen has a high-quality portfolio of Australian renewable assets with long term Power Purchase Agreements in place with strong creditworthy counterparts. The eight Australian assets are geographically spread across New South Wales and South Australia and are a mix between wind and solar technologies.
“Given the drive for decarbonisation in developed markets, renewable energy is an important investment theme for us and this mezzanine debt investment is a great opportunity to gain exposure to the rapidlygrowing renewable energy sector in Australia. Australia’s energy mix is changing and renewables will play a key part in meetings Australia’s emission reduction targets. We believe this presents a compelling opportunity for our infrastructure debt investors. The portfolio we are funding is a unique business, by virtue of its scale and geographic and technological diversification, and will provide IDF III with diversification, both in type of energy and geographic exposure.”
The investment will sit within AMP Capital Infrastructure Debt Fund III (IDF III), which closed to new investors in August 2017 after reaching its hard cap of US$2.5 billion and securing an additional US$1.6 billion for co-investment and other commitments as part of the fundraiser.
The investment also aligns with AMP Capital’s focus on ESG. For more than a decade AMP Capital has been a pioneer in the ESG space and was one of the first managers to genuinely integrate ESG research into investment decisions. Investors are increasingly choosing investments that rate highly when it comes to ESG factors.
AMP Capital Head of ESG Adam Kirkman added: “A transaction of this scale clearly demonstrates the unique investment opportunities AMP Capital is providing our clients seeking access to renewable energy assets, the expanding global green bond market, and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
AMP Capital’s Infrastructure Debt team comprises 13 investment professionals located in London, New York and Sydney. It has invested more than US$3.8 billion in 62 infrastructure debt assets since 2001.
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