IAM, Econergy acquire 30 Italian solar plants

The London-based firm and the Israeli management company will pay €127m for the 34MW portfolio.

The UK’s Integrated Asset Management (IAM) and Israel-based Econergy Systems have partnered to acquire a portfolio of 30 solar plants in Italy for €127 million.

The transaction was funded with a majority equity investment from IAM, Econergy’s Italy PV1 and PV2 funds, and Econergy co-investors including Enlight Renewable Energy, Noy Infrastructure Fund, Helios Energy Investments and other private entities. A portion of the investment was financed by a debt facility from Mediocredito Italiano, with financial consultant Prothea acting as advisor.

“This acquisition represents the culmination of a three-year effort to identify attractive investment opportunities in the solar energy space,” Emanuel Arbib, chief executive of IAM, said in a statement.

The solar acquisition is a first for IAM, an alternative investment group, while Econergy, an Israeli investment and management company, has years of investing and operating in the solar industry. The company will act as the asset manager for the 11 companies that comprise the 34MW solar portfolio.

According to Arbib, the “very attractive environment for consolidation” in Italy helped persuade IAM that the time was ripe for its first solar acquisition.

Other clean energy investors are making consolidation plays in Italy right now as well. Last month, NextEnergy Capital reached a €150 million first close for its debut renewables private equity fund and said it will soon begin investing in Italy’s fragmented solar market. Quercus Assets Selection also said last month it was nearing a first close on a €150 million fund focusing on Italian solar assets.

With its first solar deal complete, IAM said it would likely follow on with further renewable investments. The group is aiming to manage a 100MW portfolio of alternative energy assets.