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Terra Firma set to launch RTR sales process in coming weeks

Italy’s second-largest solar owner has 332MW under management, although a bid from the largest – Enel and F2i – is now thought to be unlikely. RTR is Terra Firma’s last remaining infrastructure asset after it sold a US-based wind portfolio to BlackRock’s Global Renewable Power Fund II in December.

Private equity group Terra Firma is set to begin the sale process for its Italian solar vehicle, RTR, this month, a source told Infrastructure Investor.

The move would bring an end to Terra Firma’s seven-year ownership of RTR following its €641 million acquisition of the group from Terna in March 2011. The company at the time had a portfolio with a capacity of 144MW, a figure that has been more than doubled to 332MW across 132 plants.

However, the consolidation slowed following retroactive cuts to solar subsidies by the Italian government in 2014 and the group’s acquisition of 15MW in May last year was the first addition to the portfolio since April 2014.

Terra Firma declined to comment on the sale plans.

The firm is expected to have a host of suitors for the portfolio, with Italy’s fragmented solar market experiencing a wave of secondary market activity in recent months. Sonnedix, Tages and Octopus have been among those snapping up projects in the past month, although they declined to comment on the RTR portfolio.

RTR’s 332MW is the second-largest solar portfolio in Italy, with only EF Solare – a joint venture between Italian infrastructure fund F2i and utility Enel – ahead with 360MW. However, a second source told Infrastructure Investor that a split between the two regarding the direction of the venture means a successful bid is unlikely to emerge. F2i declined to comment.

RTR is currently Terra Firma’s last remaining infrastructure asset after the UK-based group agreed a deal with BlackRock’s Global Renewable Power Fund II in December to sell EverPower, its 752MW US-based wind portfolio. The deal followed a transaction earlier last year in which JPMorgan Asset Management bought its 409MW UK wind group Infinis, with Infinis’s landfill gas assets being sold to 3i Infrastructure in October 2016.