Downing Renewables & Infrastructure Trust plc (LSE: DORE) has entered into an agreement to acquire, through Downing Hydro AB ("DHAB"), a 100% interest in a portfolio of operational run-of-river hydropower plants in Sweden (the "Portfolio") for a total consideration of approximately EUR 20 million (c.£17 million), from Batten AB and Daturum AB. The acquisition will initially be funded by drawing down on DORE's £25 million revolving credit facility ("RCF"), meaning the RCF will be 68% drawn.
The Portfolio comprises two hydropower plants located in Sweden's southern SE4 pricing region. The plants were comprehensively renovated between May 2014 and September 2019 and have an aggregate forecast annual production of c.18 GWh p.a.
The newly acquired hydropower plants will be fully integrated into DORE's existing hydropower operational, control and dispatch arrangements. This acquisition will increase the number of DHAB hydropower plants to 19 and the total forecast annual production of the hydropower portfolio to c.174 GWh, a c.60% increase since 31 December 2021.
These are DORE's first assets to be located in the attractive southern SE4 pricing region, which has the highest wholesale power prices in Sweden, benefitting from export cables to continental Europe. The acquisitions in a new price zone will further support DORE's strategy of focusing on diversification by geography, technology, revenue and project stage, designed to increase the stability of revenues and the consistency of income to shareholders.
Intention to raise equity
The Investment Manager continues to see a strong pipeline of investment opportunities. In order to access that pipeline, and to repay drawings under the RCF, the Company is considering the issue of new ordinary shares to fund additional investments, with the wider aims of increasing the Company's diversification, driving efficiencies of scale at the portfolio level, spreading the fixed costs over a wider asset base and increasing liquidity for current and future shareholders.
Any decision on an equity raise is at the absolute discretion of the Directors and will be subject to prevailing market conditions and investor sentiment. Should the Company decide to proceed with an equity raise, a further announcement will be made in due course.
Tom Williams, Partner, Head of Energy and Infrastructure at Downing LLP, commented: "We are delighted to announce another accretive acquisition for DORE in the hydropower sector, the latest in a series of excellent opportunities for expansion of the DHAB platform that the team has worked so hard to establish. Hydropower is one of the most effective sources of renewable energy, producing by far the most energy per unit of capacity of all of our renewable investments. When combined with the storage capacity of the reservoirs in the existing portfolio, we think it is a compelling investment. It will play a key role in furthering the transition to net zero.
"Raising further equity for the Company should allow us to continue to further enhance the portfolio for the benefit of shareholders by deploying into the attractive pipeline that we have available to us."