Soitec Completes ZAR 1,000,000,000 Inaugural Solar Financing Bond Transaction in South Africa Bond Investors strong support demonstrates that Soitec's utility-scale solar projects can be financed like traditional infrastructure projects
BERNIN, France, April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Soitec (Euronext Paris), a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials for energy and electronics successfully finalised the ZAR 1,000,000,000 (more than $100 millions) solar financing bond issued by CPV Power Plant No.1 Bond SPV (RF) Ltd, an affiliate of Soitec Solar GmbH. The bonds will finance the construction of a 44 MWp utility-scale concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar power plant in Touwsrivier, South Africa.
This is the first publicly-listed project bond ever issued to finance a solar power plant based on CPV technology. In terms of financing solar energy projects, the bond is an inaugural transaction in South Africa and only the third such transaction worldwide.
A consortium comprised of Deloitte & Touche, The Standard Bank of South Africa, Trident Capital and Webber Wentzel Attorneys advised Soitec throughout the transaction, with the bank acting as lead manager, book runner and debt sponsor for the offering. Moody's, the credit rating agency, confirmed the supportive investment grade rating of Baa2.za assigned to the Touwsrivier project.
"Soitec is the world's leading developer and technology provider for utility-scale CPV projects, and the successful placement of these bonds is a significant endorsement of Soitec's solar technology," said Bo MacEwan, Associate Director Corporate Finance, Deloitte & Touche. "The bonds were placed with a diverse pool of South African institutional investors, pension funds and asset managers, all of whom welcomed the opportunity to participate in this inaugural offering," said Kimon Boyiatjis, Chief Investment Officer, Trident Capital. "The bond provides developers with a new and attractive capital market instrument to finance solar power plants," said Rainer Nowak, Director at Webber Wentzel.
"We are very pleased that Soitec has succeeded with this inaugural transaction. It opens an entirely new field of project funding to the solar industry in South Africa," said Ompi Aphane, Deputy Director General Energy Policy and Planning of the Department of Energy. "We hope that this will contribute to the creation of a new pool of financial resources that can support the South African government's ambitious plans for renewable energy."
"Together with the selected equity investors for this project, we are well positioned to rapidly deploy the 44-MWp Touwsrivier project," said Gaëtan Borgers Executive Vice President of Soitec Solar Division. "Group Five, our EPC partner, has already started construction and the first of more than 1500 high efficiency Soitec CPV systems will soon be erected on the project site. Scheduled for completion by June 2014, Touwsrivier will be the largest CPV plant in the western world."
The success of this transaction demonstrates that Soitec can plan, finance and deliver utility scale power plants based on concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology "Our presence across the whole value chain is an important part of our business model" added Gaetan Borgers.
André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, CEO and founder of Soitec concluded "the strong support we received from bond investors demonstrates that Soitec's utility-scale solar power plants can be financed like traditional infrastructure projects." He added : "the market for utility-scale solar power plants is the fastest growing segment today. Leveraging our world-class manufacturing facilities, we will continue to execute our pipeline of over 440 MWp (*) and to develop new opportunities in South Africa and other high irradiance countries."
(*) Equivalent to over 300 MW A.C.
This announcement is for information purposes only and does not contain or constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the bonds or any other security and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in the United States or in any jurisdiction in which, or to any persons to whom, such offering, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. This announcement does not constitute a prospectus within the meaning of the Directive 2003/71/EC or an offer to the public.
Soitec is an international manufacturing company, a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials at the frontier of the most exciting energy and electronic challenges. Soitec's products include substrates for microelectronics (most notably SOI: Silicon-on-Insulator) and concentrator photovoltaic systems (CPV). The company's core technologies are Smart Cut™, Smart Stacking™ and Concentrix™, as well as expertise in epitaxy. Applications include consumer and mobile electronics, microelectronics-driven IT, telecommunications, automotive electronics, lighting products and large-scale solar power plants. Soitec has manufacturing plants and R&D centers in France, Singapore, Germany, and the United States. For more information, visit: http://www.soitec.com.
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