December 2nd 2019 – Juan Cruz Peña (El Confidencial).- After many years paving its way in the renewable energies field all over the world, Univergy Solar is prepared for a strategic moment in the path of the company. The company founded and directed by its largest shareholder, Ignacio Blanco, is working with external consultants at the moment to value the company. Its intention is to launch a strategic plan at the beginning of 2020 for the entrance of a new partner to subscribe up to 50% of the company through a capital increase.
According to the CEO, right now the company accounts for 4,000MW of solar developments in different phases of development and its goal is to double this number in the next years, to reach up to 8,000MW. For this ambitious challenge, the businessman is aware that they will need a partner to participate in the capital of the company. Blanco believes that the value of the 100% of the company is between 100 and 200 million euros. Which means the sale of half of the company would allow Univergy to obtain the capital needed to approach the growth plan.
The company’s preference, according to what Blanco explains to El Confidential, is for the partner to be an industrial business who contributes with its skills and knowledge besides giving financial oxygen. For the process, Univergy is already researching the financial industry with the idea to engage an investment bank to lead the sale. Until now, Univergy Solar has mainly focused on developing and promoting projects until reaching “ready to build” status. However, the intention is to start constructions on some of those projects until they are ready to operate, “turnkey” projects. But its ambition does not stop there and seeks to remain the owner of part of the renewable assets that it develops and constructs, which would allow him to have an income flow that will give much more stability to its accounts of results. This company is not new to working with partners. In fact, they settled down in Japan when the crisis came to Spain. Recently, it has formed a Joint Venture with the Australian fund MacQuarie, named Nara Solar, which is focused on the development of photovoltaic projects in Spain.
Ignacio Blanco decided to sell what there was left of his energy business in Spain after the green moratorium and he moved to the adventure of the renewable energies in Japan after the disaster of Fukushima.
In this sense, the company is looking for a fellow partner to approach the beginning of great infrastructures in the sea. It is looking for a partner in Japan to develop 400MW of wind energy “offshore”. In parallel, they want to develop a great marine park in Scotland.
Another partnership of Univergy’s worth mentioning is the one held with the Chinese giant Trina Solar. This partnership has obtained procurements in the last tender celebrated in Colombia.
Although Univergy has around 120 workers, its presence extends to the five continents. In Europe, it has projects in Spain, France, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany. In Asia, counts with a strong implementation in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Bangladesh or India. It also has projects in Australia and Indonesia (Australian Continent). Its presence in America includes Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Argentina. And its most recent opening, in Africa, starting projects in Egypt, Nigeria, Togo, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. In addition, in the Middle East, it is present in the United Arab Emirates.
In spite of the wide list, its ambition is to arrive at new geographies, although Blanco is aware of the handicaps that being so atomized when facing a sale can imply. To the end, it also contemplates to be able to open the capital of the company to investment by geographic areas instead of doing so from the parent company, although its preference is an increase of capital at global level.
Self consumption and “solar sharing”
On the other hand, the company also wants to be technologically diversified. Right now, it has placed a strong bet on self-consumption installations, as much for individuals (households) as for companies. The company believes there is a great niche to develop, mainly in Spain, and also seeking to expand to Portugal.
Another project in which it is working is the “solar sharing”. They are solar platforms that settle in agriculture fields and whose direction to the sun is not detrimental for the crops. In some cases, they even improve them, with which the optimization and the advantage of the resources is double, mainly for countries whose ground is fertile and do not want to stop cultivating produce foods, something that also responds to geostrategical questions.
With the sum of the different parts of the company, Ignacio Blanco thinks that it is the suitable moment to approach a great financial operation. Precisely, the sector is in rise, with great transactions and an enormous liquidity in the markets in search of profitability. Now, according to his explanation, the sector is very attractive, since there is a generalized consensus of which the path of the energy sector entails decarbonisation and great companies are making efforts in this sense. Only it is necessary to see the positioning that many listed companies of Ibex 35 are doing facing the COP25 that is celebrated from today in Madrid. For that reason, Univergy Solar can be the ideal fellow traveler to keep growing.