Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) has entered into a definitive agreement with Sharp Corp. (TSE: 6753) to acquire solar energy developer Recurrent Energy LLC for approximately $265m.
The acquisition of Recurrent will increase Canadian Solar’s total solar project pipeline by approximately 4 GW to 8.5 GW, and its late-stage project pipeline by approximately 1 GW to 2.4 GW. Located in California and Texas, Recurrent’s 1-GW late-stage pipeline is one of the largest utility-scale project portfolios scheduled to be built prior to the ITC expiration in 2016, and represents an estimated revenue opportunity of at least $2.3bn for Canadian Solar under a build and sell business model.
The transaction further expands Canadian Solar’s position as a leading solar energy developer, with a globally diversified project pipeline in low risk geographies. In addition, this transaction broadens Canadian Solar’s project development and financing capabilities, and enhances the Company’s position for creating its own “yieldco” in the quarters ahead. A yieldco, which is a popular trend right now in the power business, is an affiliated, publicly-traded company that takes on established power plants with long-term power contracts from its sponsor.
“The acquisition of Recurrent is an important milestone for us as it significantly expands and strengthens our position in the North American market, and places Canadian Solar firmly among the leading global solar energy companies,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Canadian Solar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, in a Feb. 2 statement. “By combining Canadian Solar’s global reach and experience with Recurrent’s proven solar energy development track record in the US and Canada, we are significantly expanding the scale of our solar energy development platform. At the same time, this transaction broadens our strategic options to extend our business model from development and construction into potential ownership and operation of solar power plants as we work to create additional value for our shareholders.”
“Canadian Solar is a key player in the industry and we are fortunate that our collective visions for the future of the solar market are very much aligned,” said Arno Harris, Recurrent Energy Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to close collaboration with our new parent company to bring solar power further into mainstream energy markets.”
Total consideration for the acquisition of Recurrent is approximately $265m in cash. The transaction is expected to close prior to the end of the first quarter of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Founded in 2001 in Canada, Canadian Solar has a geographically diversified pipeline of utility-scale solar power projects. In the past 14 years, Canadian Solar has successfully deployed over 8 GW of premium quality modules in over 70 countries around the world.
Recurrent Energy has more than 4 GW of solar projects in development in North America. Sharp is a worldwide developer of innovative products and core technologies that play a key role in shaping the future of electronics.