Elliott Management taps Azure Capital, Bank of America for sale of solar assets

The Australian - Online, Bridget Carter, Sunday, 30 May 2021, 06:22 GMT, © 2021 News Limited. All rights reserved

Elliott Management Corporation is understood to have tapped Azure Capital and Bank of America for the sale of its Australian solar assets.

The portfolio owned by Elliott is thought to be worth more than $500 million.

The global investment group owns Elliott Green Power Australia, with solar energy assets that generate more than 300 megawatts.

Earlier this year it was believed to be in the process of selecting an adviser for an asset sale.

Projects on offer will include the Susan River Solar Farm in Queensland which delivers 180,000MWh of electricity each year, along with the Childers Solar Farm and Nevertire Solar farms in NSW that deliver 144,000MWh and 265,000MWh respectively.

Elliott Management manages two multi-strategy hedge funds that collectively have more than $US40 billion ($54.8 billion) worth of assets under management.

Investors include pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds of funds, wealthy individuals and families and employees of the firm.

Energy bankers are busy right now, with Macquarie Capital and Goldman Sachs working on the potential demerger of AGL Energy’s retail business called New AGL, which would leave behind its coal-related electricity generation assets, while final bids were due last week for New Energy Solar’s Australian business in a process run through the Royal Bank of Canada.

Included in the offer is its 110MW Beryl plant and 55MW Manildra facilities in NSW.

Thailand’s Banpu is considered the frontrunner.

First Sentier, Palisade Investment Partners, Lighthouse Infrastructure, Dutch Infrastructure Fund and ICG have previously picked up renewable energy portfolios and could be around the hoop for Elliott’s and Denham Capital’s portfolios.

Meanwhile, another portfolio that could soon be on the block is Denham Capital’s Nexif Energy business which is expected to have an equity value of more than $500 million.

It includes renewable energy assets in Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines and Australia.

BlackRock’s two solar farms in Queensland, known as The Gretel Solar Portfolio, are also on offer through Azure Capital and could be worth $300 million.

A 49 per cent stake in an Australian portfolio owned by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures that could be worth about $500 million has been up for grabs.

FRV describes itself as a leading global developer of large-scale solar power plants.

The assets on offer generate about 500MW.

Advisory firm Lazard was selling a 54 per cent stake in the $450 million Ararat Wind Farm in Victoria, which is owned by Partners Group, but that has been withdrawn from the market.

In the past year, Tilt Renewables has sold to a consortium including Queensland Investment Corporation, AGL Energy, Mercury Energy and The Future Fund for more than $3 billion.

First Sentier earlier acquired John Laing’s Australian wind farms for $285 million before disposal costs.

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