Cubico buys Brazilian wind farms, opens São Paulo office

The partnership between Santander, OTPP and PSP is prioritising Latin American renewables, with $500m wind farms deal leading the way.

Cubico Sustainable Investments, a partnership between a Spanish bank and two Canadian pensions, has bought two Brazilian wind farms for 2 billion reals ($502 million; €462 million), and opened an office in São Paulo.

The vehicle has made its first Brazilian investment by buying the 182-megawatt (MW) Caetés and the 210MW Ventos do Araripe I wind farms from developer Casa dos Ventos. The deal brings Cubico’s total wind generating capacity in the country to 615MW, making it the third-largest player in Brazil’s wind sector.

Cubico is a global renewable energy and water investment platform between Spain’s Santander, and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP) and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) that launched in 2015 with $2 billion of assets under management (AUM).

The partnership, headquartered in London, opened an office in São Paulo to better track investment opportunities in Brazil and other Latin American markets. It already has offices in Mexico and Italy.

“We will further analyse opportunities in Brazil and elsewhere,” Ricardo Díaz, head of Americas at Cubico, said in a statement. “Besides Brazil, Cubico is currently focusing on its origination efforts in Latin America on investments in Mexico, Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.”

The partners began a relationship when the Canadian pensions bought a $1 billion stake in a Nevada solar farm from Santander in November 2014. The next month, the three announced their plans to join forces. The capital commitment from each partner was undisclosed at Cubico’s official launch in May 2015, but its portfolio began with 19 assets, all Santander purchases, generating 1.4GW across Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK.

Marco Sebares, Cubico’s chief executive, said the company is targeting $4 billion of AUM within five years from brownfield and greenfield projects that generate 10 percent returns.