Fiera and Ullico acquire stakes in 921 MW DE Shaw renewables portfolio

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Fiera and Ullico acquire stakes in 921 MW DE Shaw renewables portfolio

Ullico Inc. has announced the closing of its investment in a portfolio of eight solar and wind power generation projects owned by affiliates of D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, L.L.C. (DESRI) and other investors, with a further three projects anticipated to be added to the portfolio in 2017.

Ullico teamed up with Fiera Infrastructure Inc., an infrastructure management firm and an affiliate of Fiera Capital Corporation, and other investors to purchase the indirect equity stake from the DESRI affiliates, which will retain a significant ownership interest in the projects. The wind and solar farms are all contracted to sell power, capacity and renewable energy to investment-grade off-takers under long-term agreements.

Rohit Syal, head of acquisitions for Ullico's infrastructure business, said:

"The investment provides Ullico with a diversified portfolio of wind and solar assets across multiple states and regions. These large-scale assets derive revenue from fixed price long-term contracts with strong utility counterparties."

Two of the largest projects in the portfolio, the Springbok 1 and 2 solar farms in Kern County, California, created approximately 700 jobs for Kern County and the surrounding area. The Springbok projects are expected to provide enough clean, renewable energy to serve over 110,000 households in southern California.

Edward M. Smith, President and CEO of Ullico Inc., said:

"Through this investment, Ullico demonstrates its commitment to projects that provide clean, low-cost energy across America. This investment will help to fulfill future energy needs while creating jobs for skilled workers."

An affiliate of DESRI will serve as the asset manager for all the projects, with long-term operations and maintenance contracts with Swinerton Renewable Energy, EDF Renewable Services, and other high-quality vendors. The projects’ wind turbines will be maintained under long-term agreements with original equipment manufacturers, General Electric and Vestas.

The portfolio is Ullico's second investment with DESRI and its affiliates. In 2013, Ullico invested in the DESRI-managed 69 MWac Kawailoa Wind Farm in Hawaii, Ullico's first investment in renewable energy. Kawailoa Wind remains an important part of Ullico's portfolio and continues to be managed by an affiliate of DESRI.

Jeff Murphy, portfolio manager for Ullico's infrastructure business, said:

"The long-term stable cash flow expected from these operating assets fits with Ullico’s infrastructure fund objectives. As our second investment with DESRI, we are pleased to deepen our relationship with them as a valued partner and a best-in-class investor and asset manager of renewable energy."

Bryan Martin, Chief Executive Officer of DESRI, said:

"We are pleased to expand our relationship with Ullico, which has been a valued partner as we’ve expanded the DESRI renewable business, creating green energy and jobs across the U.S."

Ullico Inc., through its infrastructure business, currently has investments in the water, waste water, electricity transmission, and power generation sectors and is exploring opportunities in all core sectors.

BMO Capital Markets acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins acted as legal advisor to DESRI. Baker McKenzie and Chadbourne & Parke acted as legal advisors to Ullico.

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