Mainstream Renewable Power to be sold in €1bn deal

19 Jan 20211.16k Views

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The Irish wind and solar company was founded by energy entrepreneur Eddie O’Connor.

Renewable energy investment company Aker Horizons, a subsidiary of Norwegian holding company Aker, has agreed to acquire 75pc of Irish wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power.

The deal values Mainstream at €1bn and will give Aker Horizons a portfolio of projects in operation and under construction of about 1.4GW, a project development pipeline of around 10GW, and a further 10GW of identified project opportunities.

Dublin-based Mainstream was established in 2008 by energy entrepreneur Eddie O’Connor, after he sold Airtricity to SSE.

Since then, it has developed assets totalling 6.4GW of renewable energy capacity and sold a significant number of wind and solar projects. Its current portfolio is primarily made up of onshore wind and solar assets in Chile and South Africa.

Mainstream CEO Mary Quaney said the agreement with Aker Horizons will allow the company to “materially accelerate its growth plans to deliver a global portfolio of wind and solar assets” ahead of a planned IPO.

“We plan to bring 5.5GW of renewable assets to financial close globally by 2023, which sets us firmly on track to becoming one of the world’s first pure-play renewable energy majors,” she added.

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Mainstream has 335 employees across 11 countries, with capabilities covering the entire lifespan of renewable energy assets. Under the terms of the deal, the company will continue to operate as Mainstream, led by Quaney.

O’Connor, who will remain as chair and retain a minority interest in the business, said the partnership is the “crucial next step” for the renewables company.

“It means we can widen our scope for entry into new markets and further deepen and expand our leadership position in existing ones, such as in Chile where we will soon be supplying the equivalent of one in seven Chilean homes with power from our wind and solar facilities,” he said.

As part of the transaction, Aker Horizons will also acquire 50pc of superconducting technology company SuperNode, which was founded by O’Connor in 2018. Aker Horizons said it will continue to develop the company’s technology – which is addressing the need for higher capacity cables with lower power loss – with O’Connor, who will remain a key shareholder.

Øyvind Eriksen, CEO of Aker and chair of Aker Horizons, said the company has shifted focus in the last year to renewable energy production and green technologies.

“Combining Mainstream’s global organisation and renewable assets with Aker’s 180-year track record of building and developing industrial companies is another step in line with our long-term strategy for value creation and to position Aker Horizons for significant and sustainable growth in renewable energy markets,” Eriksen added.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approval.

Sarah Harford is sub-editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com