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July 26 2017 2:30 AM
Shares in Ireland's first stock market-listed renewable energy firm, Greencoat Renewables, made their trading debut in Dublin and London yesterday, as it raised €270m.
The shares were virtually unchanged during afternoon trading.
The company raised more than €145m from investors and secured an additional investment of €105m from AIB and the State's Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) which provided €76m in funding.
AIB and ISIF provided the combined €105m seed investment in March to bankroll the acquisition by Greencoat Renewables of the 100MW Knockacummer wind farm in Co Cork, and the 37MW Killhills wind farm in Co Tipperary.
Those assets were bought from Canada's Brookfield Renewable Partners, which acquired them as a portfolio of Bord Gáis Energy assets that were sold by the Government to meet Troika targets.
Greencoat Renewables's manager is London-headquartered Greencoat Capital, which is also the investment adviser to a €200m ESB greentech fund.
Bertrand Gautier and Paul O'Donnell lead the Greencoat Capital team that manages the Greencoat Renewables assets.
"The listing provides us with the platform to build upon our initial portfolio of operational wind farms, with a substantial pipeline of future acquisition opportunities in the Irish market," said Mr O'Donnell.
"There is 4.3GW of onshore wind expected to be in operation in Ireland by 2020, and we believe that Greencoat Renewables is very well placed to generate attractive returns for shareholders for the long-term".
Greencoat expects to use a revolving credit facility to help fund additional assets and will return to the equity markets "in due course", it said to refinance with further share issues.
The company is targeting an investment rate of return of between 7pc and 8pc.
ISIF senior investment manager Austin Coughlan said the State agency reckons that Ireland's transition to a low-carbon economy will require new capital investment totalling €40bn by 2050.
The Greencoat Renewables non-executive board includes former PwC senior partner Ronan Murphy; the chair of solicitors group Mason Hayes & Curran, Emer Gilvarry, who was also managing partner and is a former Aer Lingus director; and Kevin McNamara, a former ESB International executive who was most recently the chief financial officer of Amarenco, the renewable energy firm.
Within two years, Greencoat Renewables expects to be looking abroad for additional acquisitions, and has cited Germany, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands and France as providing expansion opportunities.