Forestalia hired Agere Energy and Infrastructure Partners to advise on potential debt deals

By Rodrigo Orihuela and Esteban Duarte (Bloomberg)

Forestalia Renovables SL, a Spanish renewable energy company, is seeking partners after it took the biggest slice of green power projects auctioned last week in Spain.
Zaragoza-based Forestalia hired French investment bank Eponyme Partners and Agere Energy and Infrastructure Partners to respectively advise on potential equity and debt deals, general manager of the company’s wind and solar unit, Yann Dumont, said in an interview. Company owner Fernando Samper, who comes from a family of pig farmers in Aragon, took home 1,200 of the 3,000 megawatts of wind power tendered on May 17.
Samper “has been preparing for the come back of the sector for the last four, five years, by finding good location and connection points,” said Forestalia Chief Executive Officer Fernando Munoz in an interview. “The key is the wind, not the subsidies, so he made sure he took the right locations.”
Forestalia outbid more established companies including Gas Natural SDG SA, Siemens Gamesa and Endesa SA to take the biggest bloc at last week’s auction. The company now controls the rights to generate more than 1,600 megawatts of renewable energy in various stages of development. For Samper, who founded the company in 2011, the auction win solidified Forestalia’s leading
role in the comeback of Spain’s green power sector, which has struggled since slashing generous subsidies in 2008. “It has been a great success,” Spain’s Energy Minister Alvaro Nadal told reporters in Barcelona after last week’s auction. “It has been done with zero premium, that’s to say the consumer doesn’t have to pay an extra cost for this renewable energy.”
General Electric Co., which announced Friday it would sell its 3-megawatt turbines for Forestalia’s projects, was chosen as a “technological partner,” Dumont said, adding that contracts with Boston-based GE could be expanded.
Forestalia expects to start the construction of the wind power plants in first half of next year, Dumont said. The company is also expanding production at a separate biomass division that supplies power in France and Italy to utilities that include EON SE.
Both Forestalia’s Dumont and Munoz declined to comment on a report from Spain’s Expansion newspaper that the company is talking with the world’s largest asset manager Blackrock Inc. about potential collaboration.

Reporters on this story:
Rodrigo Orihuela in Madrid
Esteban Duarte in Madrid

Editors responsible for this story:
Alan Crawford
Jonathan Tirone, Reed Landberg