NextEnergy exhausts equity funds with latest deal

The firm’s acquisition of two UK solar plants means it has used up all equity raised since its IPO, including £61m it collected in February.

NextEnergy Solar Fund (NextEnergy), the London-listed investment firm which targets operational solar assets in the UK, has agreed to acquire two new assets for a combined sum of up to £54.7 million (€76.0 million; $80.2 million).

The firm is adding to its portfolio of solar assets the 33.7-megawatt peak (MWp) Glebe Farm solar power plant in Bedfordshire for up to £40.5 million and the 11.7MWp Hawkers Farm plant in Somerset for up to £14.2 million. The latest acquisitions will increase the firm's number of assets to 17 (amounting to around 217MWp).

Since its initial public offering in April 2014, NextEnergy has raised and fully deployed £246.6 million in equity proceeds. This includes an additional £61 million that it raised in late February this year. To help fund recent deals and “further short-term investment opportunities”, the firm has been utilising a two-year £31.5 million revolving credit facility.

“NESF expects to secure further acquisitions in short order, financed by the debt facility we have in place, and is actively exploring further debt funding sources,” said Kevin Lyon, chairman of NextEnergy, in a statement.

The Glebe Farm and Hawkers Farm plants were constructed under contracts negotiated by the fund's investment adviser, NextEnergy Capital, and were connected to the grid last month. They will be accredited under the 1.4 ROC subsidy regime, which ends this month.