DIF completes refinancing of a French solar PV portfolio

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DIF completes refinancing of a French solar PV portfolio

DIF Infrastructure III closes the refinancing of a 20.1MWp solar PV portfolio in France.

DIF has completed the refinancing of a portfolio of 10 operational solar PV projects located on the rooftops and parking shelters of supermarkets in the south of France, taking advantage of the prevailing low interest rate and competitive bank market environment. The portfolio was developed by Green Yellow.

The DIF Infrastructure III fund acquired 85% of the equity in the portfolio in 2013, with Green Yellow retaining 15% of the equity. The portfolio has been operational for more than two years.

Caisse d’Épargne CEPAC, acting as the lead arranger, La Banque Postale, Banque Palatine, BPI France and Caisse d'Épargne et de Prévoyance Loire Drôme Ardèche provided €114 million (US$119 million) of debt to refinance the existing debt. The refinancing provides for an extraordinary distribution to the shareholders in the portfolio, without diminishing the stability of the equity cash flows in the coming years.

The lenders were advised by Herbert Smith Freehills (legal), KiloWattsol (technical), H3P (model audit) and MARSH (insurance). DIF was advised by Depardieu Broccas Mafféi (legal) and Noveo Finance (hedging).

This follows the refinancing earlier this year of another 31.2MWp portfolio of 15 solar PV plants in France owned by DIF and Green Yellow, with debt provided by Natixis and a pool of institutional investors.

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