Celeo Concesiones e Inversiones, S.L.U., which is wholly owned by leading Spanish infrastructure and energy group Grupo Elecnor S.A., has refinanced a solar PV portfolio in Spain.
Celeo completed the €41.6 million (US$44.5 million) refinancing via the issuance of project bonds of eight Spanish photovoltaic plants (seven of them roof-mounted) with a total installed capacity of 15.3 MW. The bonds were issued by Celeo Fotovoltaico S.A.U. Banco Santander acted as structuring agent, arranger and sole bookrunner for the transaction.
Following the recent regulatory changes to the Spanish renewables sector, Celeo opted to streamline both its capital structure and the eight plants’ debt via new financing provided by institutional investors via project bonds which will be guaranteed by the plants themselves and the income generated from them. The bonds are subject to English law and listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange’s Quotation Board.
This transaction is among the first refinancing’s via project bond issuance to close successfully in Spain, as well as one of the first involving roof-mounted installations and the first involving unrated debt.
Law firm Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) advised Celeo on the refinancing. Allen & Overy acted as Banco Santander’s legal counsel.
WFW Madrid Banking & Finance Partner, Rodrigo Berasategui, commented:
“This was a complex and innovative transaction, involving eight different project companies who will be generating the income to repay the bonds. That Celeo and Elecnor turned to WFW to advise them on this transaction demonstrates once again the firm’s indisputable status and the leading law firm in Spain in the renewables space.
In terms of developments in the energy sector, we have noticed renewed activity in the debt markets thanks to project bonds, which are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional bank financing structures”.