Quick follow-up for Marguerite

Having completed its first deal in December, the EU-focused greenfield equity fund has now announced its second deal – an investment in Europe’s largest solar PV project. Once again, EDF Energies Nouvelles is the seller.

The Marguerite Fund (Marguerite), a fund manager focused on greenfield investments in the European Union (EU), has acquired 36 megawatts (MW) of the 115-MW Toul-Rosieres solar photovoltaic (PV) project for an undisclosed sum. 

Located on a 522-hectare former air base owned by the French government near Nancy in north-east France, Toul-Rosieres is the largest solar PV project in Europe. It comprises one and a half million panels and is scheduled to begin generating electricity in the third quarter of this year.

A press release noted that Marguerite secured financing for the construction of its 35MW under a term loan facility arranged by BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank.

Marguerite chief executive Nicolas Merigo hailed a “unique opportunity to invest in a utility-scale solar PV plant in France” and highlighted the raising of non-recourse project finance debt with commercial banks “in a difficult market”. 

The seller of the 36MW slice of the project is EDF Energies Nouvelles, the French renewable energy firm which is managing the development, construction, operation and maintenance of Toul-Rosieres. In the same press release, the firm’s chief executive David Corchia explained that the French regulatory framework required it to bring strategic investors into large solar farms.

EDF Energies Nouvelles was also the seller when Marguerite completed its first deal last month – the acquisition of a minority stake in C-Power, which is developing, constructing and operating Thornton Bank, a 325MW wind project off the Belgian coast.

Marguerite launched its 2020 European Fund for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure in 2010. The fund posted a first close on €710 million in March last year backed by Caisse des Depots et Consignations, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the European Investment Bank, Instituto de Credito Oficial, KfW and PKO Bank Polski. The firm is targeting a €1.5 billion final close in 2012.