We have been leading advisers in the onshore wind industry since 2002 when we developed the wind farm valuation models that are now accepted as standard across the industry. We helped create the first ever large private equity backed onshore wind transaction (the 300MW RWE-Innogy Zephyr transaction in 2004) and from there to today, both on a “per MW” and “number of projects” basis, we have successfully transacted on more onshore wind than any other adviser.
Since those pioneering days we have sold or raised capital for over 5GW of onshore wind projects across Europe (as at 31 March 2017). With detailed knowledge of the regulatory regimes as well as the local dynamics of individual markets, we have successfully closed equity investments and portfolio sales in all of the large and most of the smaller territories in Europe.
Whether a transaction involves a capital raising for development pipeline or the sale of a mature operating portfolio, the key strength which an adviser brings to a client is the ability to demonstrate and communicate stable, long term, equity value and defend that value through the due diligence process and detailed and complex negotiations with multiple buyers.
Augusta’s unrivalled success in wind industry M&A is built on international reach. With a 14 years engagement in onshore wind transactions, we have built a unique insight into a genuinely global renewable energy investor base.
Augusta has been exclusively mandated on 22 offshore wind transactions in Europe, amounting to 8,865 GW (as at end 2016) and worked in all the major offshore wind jurisdictions, including the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and France. Most of our transaction experience has been in the two most active markets: the UK and Germany. On both a “per MW” and a “number of projects” basis we have successfully transacted on more development stage offshore wind than any other adviser.
In less than 10 years, the offshore wind sector has evolved rapidly into a mature and profitable industry, with the scale and reliability to attract large institutional investors. Today offshore wind remains a fast-growing and increasingly global segment of the renewable energy industry, drawing on experience acquired from the North and Baltic Seas.
Augusta has successfully advised its clients on how to fund, finance and maximise the value of offshore wind projects, whether at the development, construction or operating phase. Effective advice in this large-scale but specialised sector entails a detailed understanding of complex interdependent elements: the legal and regulatory framework, technical analyses, supply chain provision, the project finance market and a changing equity investor landscape.
Augusta has closed several transactions in the hydro power space both for “run of the river” and “reservoir” hydro projects. These include the RP Global portfolio of 230MW across Spain and Portugal with an innovative bond financing structure which was sold by way of a management buy-out to Cube Infrastructure Partners in 2009 and several confidential French and Norwegian hydro transactions that are undisclosed. Augusta has also acted on capital raises for two large pumped storage projects in the UK.
In terms of volatility, due to the “battery like” nature of reservoir hydro, capex replacement and general investment duration, hydro is a very specific asset class that requires a dedicated approach. The transactions are much rarer and hard to find due to their geological constraints and they are very popular with investors due to the enhanced risk/return metrics. Augusta has developed dedicated hydro knowledge and technology expertise from these transactions.
The European solar industry continues to grow at a vigorous pace, driven largely by the dramatic fall in LCOE over the last five years, which has seen solar (like onshore wind) achieve grid competitiveness for the first time. In 2017 the European industry pushed through the level of 100GW installed capacity, and is expected to maintain strong growth to 2020 and beyond.
Much of the M&A activity in solar PV represents the aggregation of smaller individual projects into larger centralised portfolios with the capacity to achieve economies of scale in both financing and O&M, and provide adequate scale to attract institutional investor interest. Augusta expects these themes to continue to drive solar M&A activity over the medium term.
Augusta has wide-ranging experience of solar transactions across Europe, including the disposal of a number of individual operating plants and portfolios in Spain and Italy; the disposal of a 200MW development pipeline in Italy; valuation and strategic advice on a 50MW portfolio of operating and development projects in Spain; strategic M&A advice on a multi-territory portfolio in France, Italy and Spain; a buy-side mandate for a 60MW operating portfolio in the UK.
Augusta works across the full range of other renewable energy technologies, from mature technologies such as waste to energy, landfill gas and biomass to the emerging technologies and investment opportunities in battery storage (mainly lithium and vanadium) and ancillary service provision and smart grid solutions.
We have brought the full range of our services to bear in a broad range of project types across Europe including biomass gasification in Estonia, and anaerobic digestion and landfill gas in the UK. The services we have provided include raising equity and debt capital, buying and selling assets and companies, and negotiating contracting structures.
Augusta provides M&A and capital-raising advice to corporate clients in the supply chain, and we have successfully completed strategically important transactions in key segments of the wind industry including wind turbines, blades, foundations and offshore installation vessels.
To maximise value in the specialised field of wind industry supply chain M&A, Augusta is able to deploy a detailed understanding of the structure and dynamics of the industrial sector concerned. Having transacted in every renewable generation technology at a utility scale, Augusta understands the fundamental economic drivers of each and can better evaluate the growth prospects of the renewable assets on which the supply chain depends. In this way we adapt our specialist knowledge in, for example, offshore wind project sales to understand and advise clients in the offshore wind installation vessels space, where we have executed two large transactions.