AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets (“AXA IM - Real Assets”) and ACCIONA S.A. (“ACCIONA”) have entered into an agreement with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP (“KKR”) under which they will acquire the 33.33% equity stake currently owned by KKR’s infrastructure funds, along with some co-investors, in ACCIONA Energía Internacional (“AEI”). This transaction was structured and facilitated by Real Assets Advisers (“RAA”).
Under the current transaction, ACCIONA will increase its equity stake in AEI from 66.67% to 80.0%. AXA IM - Real Assets will acquire the remaining 20.0% equity stake becoming a partner of ACCIONA in the renewable energy sector. ACCIONA has the intention to hold a 75% equity stake in AEI, so that the subsidiary becomes part of its Spanish Tax Consolidation Group, and will look for potential investors to acquire the additional 5% stake before closing. The transaction closing is subject to customary regulatory approvals and expected to take place by December 2020.
AEI was created in 2014 to house the majority of ACCIONA’s renewable energy generation assets outside Spain at the time. KKR acquired a 33.33% equity stake in AEI with ACCIONA retaining the remaining 66.67% equity stake and continuing to manage the portfolio. AEI currently owns 52 renewable energy assets, mostly onshore wind farms, with a combined net generation capacity of 2.3 gigawatts. This portfolio is spread around the globe with the assets located mainly in OECD countries including the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Italy, Portugal, South Africa and Australia.
Isabelle Scemama, Chief Executive Officer of AXA IM - Real Assets, said: “We set demanding criteria for our first major renewable energy investment: established operating history; high forecast cash yield; low leverage; substantial remaining asset life; significant diversification; potential for follow-on investments; and, genuine alignment with an elite industrial and construction partner. That was a big demand, but AEI delivers on all those criteria and more. Looking ahead, we are excited to explore further opportunities with our partner ACCIONA Energía and the wider ACCIONA Group where we already have substantial dealings in real estate. Pleasingly, this investment takes our infrastructure equity holdings, on behalf of our clients, past €1.8 billion.”
José Manuel Entrecanales, Chairman and CEO of ACCIONA, said: “The relationship with KKR over the last few years has been very successful and productive, and we are grateful for its significant contribution and support. We are excited to welcoming AXA as a new partner and we are sure that, together, we will be able to find opportunities for growth and co-investment in projects of common interest. This transaction, in such difficult market context due to the global lockdown, is a clear evidence of ACCIONA’s asset quality and of our strength as global developer and operator of sustainable infrastructure.”
Johannes Huth, Head of KKR for EMEA, said: “We would like to thank ACCIONA for their partnership and stewardship over the business that was created in 2014. We are pleased that the business will thrive under continued ownership by ACCIONA and AXA going forward.”
Roger Ammoun and Ram Kumar, Co-Managing Partners of RAA, said: “We are pleased that we could intermediate a landmark transaction in the green energy sector that provides a satisfactory outcome for AXA, ACCIONA and KKR. We are confident that the resulting partnership between ACCIONA and AXA will enable AEI to strengthen its position as a global renewable energy champion.”