Foresight Solar aims to raise £50m; secondary list on the JSE

The specialist investment vehicle planning a secondary listing on the JSE has no investments in SA yet, but believes there could be opportunities in future

Foresight Solar Fund, the specialist investment vehicle that announced last week it would take a secondary listing on the JSE on April 3, will place shares with selected investors at 107.75p each to raise up to £50m, it said on Tuesday.

The JSE listing of the investment fund, with a portfolio of 18 power plants in the UK, marks the growing maturity of SA’s renewables sector.

According to the December quarter report from the Department of Energy’s Independent Power Producers office, by the end of December the government had procured 6,422MW of renewable power in seven bid rounds, of which 2,902MW had been connected to the grid.

Foresight Solar has no investments in SA yet, but believes there could be opportunities in future.

The pricing of Foresight Solar’s private placement is at a slight premium to its audited net asset value of 105.6p a share at February 23. The new shares would receive the interim dividend of 1.55p a share declared for the December quarter, which will be paid on May 5.

The placement price is equivalent to R17.24 at current exchange rates. The actual rand price will be determined by prevailing exchange rates when the placement closes on March 29.

The purpose of the listing and fundraising is partly to repay debt Foresight incurred on the acquisition of two solar projects in the UK, Shotwick and Sandridge. Foresight’s managers said there were more attractive acquisition opportunities in the UK’s solar market.

It is listing on the JSE because there are investors in SA with an understanding of the benefits of solar and other renewable investments, but because of foreign exchange controls they can only put restricted amounts into offshore renewable funds. The shares issued will be fully transferable between the UK and South African share registers. Source: BD Live

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