Ardian-backed TRE Solar acquires Agritre

TRE Solar will pay more than €100m to buy Agritre, a company that will build a 25.2MW biomass power plant in Italy.

TRE Solar, a joint venture established by French fund manager Ardian and Italian industrial company Tozzi Group, will pay more than €100 million to acquire Agritre.

The funds will allow Agritre to build a 25.2-megawatt (MW) biomass power plant in Southern Italy, a project that has received all the necessary authorisations and is expected to be completed in April 2016.

The plant will burn residue from cereal cultivation and olive and vine pruning to provide a low-emission alternative for the disposal of agricultural waste material, according to the statement. The project will create 200 jobs during construction and will provide employment for at least 30 employees once it is completed.

“This new investment of our third generation of infrastructure funds illustrates our strategy of long-term partnership with industrial players,” said Mathias Burghardt, head of Ardian’s infrastructure team. “Our close relationship with the Tozzi Group has enabled Ardian Infrastructure to become one of the largest renewable energy platforms in Europe,” he added.

TRE Solar, in which Ardian holds a 65 percent stake and Tozzi Group holds the remainder, is the latest joint venture vehicle created by the two firms in 2011. Ardian and Tozzi – the latter through its subsidiary TRE Tozzi Renewable Energy – however, first partnered in 2007 to invest in renewable energy. In 2009, the collaboration evolved into TRE&Partners, a joint venture focusing on wind farms and hydroelectric power plants.

To date, TRE&Partners and TRE Solar have more than 450MW in operation in onshore wind farms, hydroelectric projects, solar farms and now biomass projects.

“We are delighted to support Italy’s first biomass power plant project of this kind,” Tozzi Group chairman Franco Tozzi said. “It is an innovative system that will help to decrease CO2 emissions and bring long-lasting economic development to the Puglia region,” he said.

Based in Paris, Ardian also has offices in London, New York, Beijing, Frankfurt, Jersey, Luxembourg, Milan, Singapore and Zurich. In addition to infrastructure, Ardian’s other offerings include funds of funds, buyouts, and private debt. The firm currently has $50 billion in assets under management, of which $5 billion is dedicated to infrastructure.