Mainstream hires ex-Wall Street banker to lead fundraising

Eddie O’Connor’s renewable power company raising capital for projects as well as group

Separately, Mainstream hired US investment bank PJT Partners this year to raise at least €100 million of equity for the group

Separately, Mainstream hired US investment bank PJT Partners this year to raise at least €100 million of equity for the group

 

Renewable energy entrepreneur Eddie O’Connor has tapped a former Wall Street investment banker to lead up a new division at his company Mainstream that will be in charge of raising capital for the group’s multi-gigawatt portfolio of wind and solar projects.

James P McGinnis, who previously worked as an energy industry investment banker at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, will become chief executive of the group’s new arm, Mainstream Renewable Capital.

In September, Mainstream signed a deal with General Electric to build $1.5 billion (€1.3 billion) of wind power plants in Vietnam. The previous month, the company won contracts from the Chilean government to build and run $1.65 billion of wind and solar plants. While both platforms, which are in addition to existing construction roll-out in South Africa and Chile, will be largely funded by debt, they will also require equity investment.

Due to the high growth in emerging markets, Mainstream said on Wednesday it is also actively pursuing development opportunities in South East Asia, Latin America and Africa, having recently opened development offices in Mexico City and Manila.

Separately, Mainstream hired US investment bank PJT Partners this year to raise at least €100 million of equity for the group, after it swung into a €96 million net profit last year from a €46.6 million loss in 2014.

Mr O’Connor told The Irish Times in August that he is open to raising a multiple of the target even if it meant handing over a controlling stake to new investors - as long as a shareholder agreement allows Mainstream to continue its strategy.

“If somebody came in with €200 million or €300 million, you’d be inclined to say, why not? You’d have to look at it very seriously. It all depends on the price,” he said at the time.

Mr O’Connor set up Mainstream in 2008 after Airtricity, the wind energy company he founded two decades ago, was sold to Scottish & Southern Energy, now SSE.