Bluefield Solar in £217m refinancing with Aviva, RBS

The UK-listed fund has fully refinanced an earlier £200m facility with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Investec.

Bluefield Solar Income Fund has refinanced a long-term debt facility and a short-term revolving credit facility worth a combined £217 million ($282.6 million; €251.9 million).

The AIM-listed fund agreed the £187 million long-term facility with Aviva Investors in two tranches of £125 million and £62 million. The first tranche has a fixed rate while the second is index-linked; both amortise over 18 years.

“The timing has been favourable and has enabled the company to be able to strike the highly attractive all-in fixed rate of 287.5 basis points and indexed rate of 70 bps,” commented Bluefield chairman John Rennocks.

Bluefield said the deal would offer portfolio management flexibility and reduce costs compared to using project-level debt. Its portfolio consists of approximately 400MW of UK solar assets.

“Over the past three years the company has patiently built its portfolio with a focus on being able to introduce the right type of financing at the right time. Moreover, in Aviva Investors, we have found a financing partner who has worked with the company's investment adviser to design a facility that supports, as opposed to restricts, the company's investment strategy and aspirations,” Rennocks added.

Bluefield also entered into a £30 million short-term revolving credit facility provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Both debt facilities refinance a £200 million agreement with RBS and Investec from January this year.