Mirova inks €300m tie-up to finance French wind, solar

The firm has agreed to take a 49% stake in nine projects being developed by Valeco in its largest deal to date.

French fund manager Mirova has signed a deal with renewables developer Valeco Group to finance a portfolio of nine wind and solar projects with a combined capacity of 180MW.

The transaction will see its Mirova-Eurofideme 3 fund take a 49 percent stake in the projects that are due to become operational between 2016 and 2018, with Valeco retaining its 51 percent ownership.

Both partners have also received project finance debt provided by a pool of French banks that brings the deal’s total to nearly €300 million. A spokeswoman for Mirova identified to Infrastructure Investor two of these banks as CEPAC and AUXIFIP, subsidiaries of BPCE and Credit Agricole respectively.

While the companies declined to give a breakdown of the financing, the spokeswoman added that the deal is Mirova’s largest to date and will “most likely be one of the largest greenfield deals this year in onshore wind in France.”

The transaction marks the second time Mirova partners with Valeco. The pair previously worked on a 10MW solar plant in France in 2013, a project that required €13.3 million in total investment.

Valeco chairman Erick Gay said the deal is the first step towards its target of installing 1GW in France over the next two years, 200MW of which is “in an advanced state of development”.

Mirova-Eurofideme 3 closed in July on €350 million, €150 million above its initial target. It has now completed 12 investments to the tune of about €160 million, financing about 580MW of renewables assets. The fund focuses on renewable energy projects in France and the Nordics.