KKR & Co. bought an 80 percent stake in Gestamp Asetym Solar SL that values the Spanish solar power plant developer at about $1 billion.
The private-equity firm, run by billionaire cousins Henry Kravis and George Roberts, acquired the holding from Gestamp Renewables Corp. The deal backs the developer’s plan to operate 2.5 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity by 2020, KKR said Tuesday in a statement.The middle-market has also hosted other solar panel deals recently. in June, Kingspan Energy Inc. acquired American Solar & Alternative Power LLC to expand into the northeast U.S. and before that, Gibraltar Industries (Nasdaq: ROCK) agreed to pay $130 million for RBI Solar Inc. and Rough Brothers Manufacturing Inc. “This is an attractive time to invest in a leading owner and developer of solar PV plants,” said Jesus Olmos, head of European Infrastructure at KKR. “Gestamp Solar will be a key platform for KKR, developing utility-scale solar PV on a global level.”Gestamp Solar, which has about 300 megawatts of solar plants in operation or construction and 2,200 more megawatts in development, may pursue an initial public offering in two to three years, Chief Executive Officer Jorge Barredo said.“We have a business plan that requires a lot of assets and we were looking for a long-term investor,” Barredo said Tuesday by phone.Gestamp, active in the U.S., India, the Middle East, Japan, South Africa, South America, Italy and Spain, plans to enter Egypt, Brazil, the Philippines and Thailand soon, Barredo said.Bank of America Corp. advised Gestamp Solar in the deal, which is expected to close before the end of the year, subject to regulatory approvals and third-party consents.