KKR & Co. agreed to acquire French solar and biomass power producer Albioma SA in a deal valued at about 1.6 billion euros ($1.7 billion), in the latest sign of investor demand for renewable energy assets.
The buyout firm offered 50 euros per Albioma share, plus a cash dividend of 84 cents, according to a statement, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. The board unanimously supports the proposed transaction, it said.
“The energy transition requires major long-term investment,” Vincent Policard, partner and co-head of European Infrastructure at KKR, said in the statement. Alongside Albioma’s teams, “KKR is committed to accelerate energy transition in French overseas departments and the international expansion, while significantly increasing renewables in the energy mix to facilitate the exit from fossil fuels.”
Investors are keen to expand in renewable energy amid the global shift to better environmental standards. Global spending on the transition to low-carbon energy rose by more than a quarter to $755 billion in 2021, according to BloombergNEF. Last month, a Macquarie Group Ltd.-led group agreed to buy French solar farm developer Reden Solar SAS for 2.5 billion euros, suggesting the flurry of clean-power investment is continuing.
Albioma, which operates power plants in French overseas territories, Mauritius and Brazil, is progressively replacing fossil fuels with biomass such as wood waste and sugar cane residue to reduce its emissions. It’s also developing solar farms in France, and recently invested in geothermal energy in Turkey.
KKR said it will provide its “operational expertise and financial resources” to accelerate the company’s international expansion. The U.S. buyout firm expects to file the tender offer document with the French financial market’s authority by mid-May 2022. It intends to request a squeeze out and delisting of Albioma’s shares, subject to reaching 90 percent of the share capital and voting rights of Albioma as a result of the offer.
KKR has been actively deploying capital across it’s private equity and infrastructure platforms. The buyout firm separately unveiled a tender offer to take Hitachi Transport System Ltd. private in a deal valued at about 670 billion yen. It is also leading a consortium bidding to buy Australia’s Ramsay Health Care Ltd. for about $15 billion.
Societe Generale and Bredin Prat were the financial and legal advisers, respectively, of KKR. Albioma was advised by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier.