Japanese trading giant Marubeni takes 25pc stake in Irish clean-tech firm Mainstream

4 Oct 2013

Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp is pumping a €100m equity investment into Irish-founded wind-energy and solar-tech player Mainstream Renewable Power. The cash injection, which Marubeni confirmed today, will see it take a significant minority stake of about 25pc in Mainstream – making it the largest institutional investor in the renewables company.

Mainstream confirmed that Mainstream’s shareholders have approved the Marubeni investment.

The deal was first hinted at in early August.

Mainstream’s chief executive Eddie O’Connor said today the Marubeni move is a “major vote of confidence” in Mainstream’s business by one of the world’s largest trading companies.

“We have hundreds of megawatts of wind and solar projects currently in construction across Ireland, South Africa, Chile and Canada and this investment will fund the build-out of further projects, ” he said, adding that the investment would also allow Mainstream to become a more “significant” asset owner in its projects.

“In recent months, we have announced significant achievements right across our jurisdictions, including the ground-breaking deal with IKEA, which has agreed to purchase our wind farm in Ireland, the receipt of onshore planning consent for our 450MW offshore wind farm in Scotland, and the signing of a US$1.4bn deal with Actis to develop a wind and solar platform in Chile.”

The deal between Marubeni and Mainstream is also set to spell a long-term strategic alliance for both companies.

Mainstream said the two companies would now work closely together to speed up Mainstream’s key projects across multiple jurisdictions.

Marubeni already has business interests in the renewables sector globally, including the offshore wind industry in Europe and the electricity-supply business in the UK.

Wind and solar-tech image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic