Firms: Mills Oakley (Elecnor S.A.); Baker McKenzie (Foresight)
Deal: Elecnor S.A. (Elecnor) has been advised on the sale of its Barcaldine Solar Farm to Foresight.
Key players: The legal team advising Elecnor was led by Mills Oakley corporate advisory partner Mick Coleman (pictured), who is based in Melbourne.
Mr Coleman was assisted by special counsels Venn King and Nicole Tumiati, and lawyer Cassandra Taylor.
The legal team advising Foresight was led by Baker McKenzie partner Simon De Young.
Deal significance: Elecnor is a Spanish renewable energy giant, while Foresight is a leading infrastructure investment and asset manager with 70 solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in its portfolio in the UK, southern Europe, Australia and North America.
Foresight’s acquisition of the 25MW Barcaldine Solar Farm located in central Queensland is a substantial coup for the company. The farm has 79,000 panels and its estimated annual output is sufficient to meet the consumption requirements of 5,300 households.
The Barcaldine Solar Farm was one of the first large-scale solar farms funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and financed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
The project demonstrated the continued falling costs in developing and operating large-scale solar projects in Australia as a trailblazer for the 12 solar projects funded in ARENA’s 2016 funding round.
“I’m delighted Elecnor, as a global renewable infrastructure company, gave Mills Oakley the opportunity to work on their first big M&A transaction in Australia,” said Mills Oakley corporate advisory partner Mick Coleman.
“This transaction continues Elecnor’s strategy for gaining returns on infrastructure promotion, development and construction.
“Australia offers major opportunities to renewable energy providers and investors, and this is one of many projects Mills Oakley is engaged in across the sector.”
Mills Oakley first became involved with the Barcaldine Solar Farm when it advised Elecnor on the financing and construction of the project, which reached financial close in December 2015 and completed construction 12 months later.
This phase of the farm was led by Mills Oakley projects partner Luke Westmore, and supported by a multidisciplinary team from the firm’s projects, corporate, finance and tax practices.
Also commenting on the transaction, Baker McKenzie partner Simon De Young said the firm is "delighted to have assisted Foresight in executing its first solar transaction in Australia".