Malaysian utility takes control of 365 MW UK PV portfolio

September 17, 2020

Malaysian state power company Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has acquired Beaufort Investment’s controlling stake in a 365MW UK solar portfolio valued at £500m, taking full control of the projects.

TNB had acquired a 50% interest in the portfolio from TerraForm Power in 2017 through Vortex Solar UK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TNB 50:50 joint venture Vortex Solar Investment with Beaufort Investments.

Vortex Energy, a global renewable energy platform managed by Beaufort Investments, a subsidiary of EFG Hermes, held the managing and controlling stake in Vortex Solar.

The portfolio has an average asset age of six years, power purchase agreements with European energy companies and utilities, an “attractive ROC regime” and a long-term debt package from lenders including Santander, RBS and ING, said Beaufort.

The portfolio achieved earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation £39m in 2019 with an 84% EBITDA margin, exceeding its budget.

Vortex Energy said the portfolio continues to meet its targets in 2020, despite the global challenges.

EFG Hermes private equity and asset management head Karim Moussa said: “We continue to demonstrate our ability to pursue the full cycle of raising capital, investing strategically and exiting major renewable energy portfolios.

“Since launching Vortex in 2015, we have combined net 822 MW of premium assets while investing more than €1.3 bn in the sector in developed markets.

“We have been consistently delivering attractive returns to our shareholders and partners by aggregating and enhancing assets and then selling portfolios to strategic long-term owners of renewable energy assets.

“This is the second major exit following the disposal of our 49% stake in a 1 GW wind portfolio to funds managed by JP Morgan last year.”

The Beaufort team now plans to establish Vortex 4, a renewable energy platform that will target global generation, storage, distribution and technology businesses.

Moussa added: “We are excited about future global opportunities in renewables and the wider clean energy space, we shall aim to commence our fundraising efforts by the end of 2020, with anchor investors already showing increased interest in our next endeavour Vortex IV.”