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First Italian solar deal for Impax fund

The €330m Impax New Energy Investors II fund has agreed to buy a 9MW portfolio of operating solar PV plants from Scatec Solar. The deal builds on the fund’s existing investments in wind power in France, Germany and Poland.

Norway-headquartered solar energy firm Scatec Solar has agreed to sell a 9-megawatt (MW) portfolio of operating solar photovoltaic (PV) plants to the €330 million New Energy Investors II LP, a private equity infrastructure fund managed by London-based Impax Asset Management.

The portfolio comprises eight projects within close proximity in Puglia, southern Italy, plus a 1MW project on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. All the projects are operational and backed by almost €34 million of non-recourse bank financing provided by Norway’s DNB Bank.

The PV plants were all designed and built by Scatec Solar, which will continue to provide operations and maintenance services. Impax, which has not disclosed the transaction value, was advised on the deal by the Rome office of law firm Watson Farley & Williams. 

The deal represents the first acquisition by the Impax fund in Italian solar. The fund, which reached final close last September, has been building a portfolio of operational and pre-construction wind assets in France, Germany and Poland.   

In November last year, Impax was one of 14 non-Spanish investment firms advised by law firm Allen & Overy which slapped the Spanish government with a demand for international arbitration over retroactive cuts to the country’s solar tariff regime in December 2010. The group is seeking compensation for the move, accusing the government of “reneging on its end of the deal”.