Engyco seeks £1bn to help buy solar energy plants

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The Independent Online

Marketing for one of London's biggest evergreen power listings will begin next month when Engyco, a solar power producer, looks to raise up to €1bn (£885m) for investment.

Numis, the City broker, is working on the listing of the company which plans to buy up solar power plants across Europe.

City institutions have been sounded about their possible interest in Engyco over the past few weeks but formal marketing is slated to begin in the middle of February.

According to the firm's website, designed ahead of the possible listing, the renewables group plans to acquire €3bn in assets within three years by consolidating operations across the fragmented solar energy sector.

The firm will initially focus on making investments in Spain, one of the largest solar power producers in the world, and other southern European countries before extending interest across the rest of the continent.

It's believed that agreements to buy certain assets have already been reached ahead of a float.

Ian Rosen, the former head of renewable energy investment at Banque AIG and the co-founder of Deutsche Bank's renewable principal finance division, will be chief executive of the company. Alexander Voigt, the founder of German-listed solar power firms Solon and Q-Cells, will be executive vice-chairman. Sources close to the listing said that other "heavyweight names from the industry" will be appointed in due course.

A spokesman for Engyco declined to comment.

Despite growing interest in solar power production, official figures show that solar accounts for less than 0.1 per cent of the world's total energy supply. Germany is the world leader in green energy with a 15 per cent share of electricity production; its government is on record as saying it wants to double production by 2020. More than half the world's solar power is produced in the country with the industry employing an estimated 80,000 people.

European producers of solar energy have benefited from so called feed-in incentives, intended to speed up growth in the sector. However, with start-up costs falling, pressure to reduce the size of incentives for producers have increased.