Newly listed Greencoat Renewables raises €270 million in its IPO
Firm said demand from investors down to State’s ‘ambitious’ 2020 energy targets
Bertand Gautier and Paul O’Donnell, partners of Greencoat Capital with Rónán Murphy, chairman of Greencoat Renewables Plc at the Irish Stock Exchange. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds
Newly listed Irish energy company Greencoat Renewables has said “heavy demand” from investors at its initial public offering (IPO) was down to the State’s “ambitious” 2020 energy targets, as well as the stability of the Irish regulatory regime.
Executives from the fledgling firm, which acquired part of the original Bord Gáis wind portfolio earlier this year, gathered at the offices of the Irish Stock Exchange on Tuesday to witness the ceremonial ringing of the opening bell at 8am.
Greencoat Renewables is the first renewable energy infrastructure company to list on the Dublin exchange, and the first euro-denominated renewable energy infrastructure company to list on the London Stock Exchange.
It raised €270 million in its IPO, €20 million above target as the deal attracted strong investor interest.
Addressing the crowd from the stock exchange’s balcony before ringing the bell, non-executive chairman Rónán Murphy said it had been a “long and torturous process” over the past number of months, but that investor demand had “surprised us all”.
Speaking to The Irish Times afterwards, Paul O’Donnell, partner of Greencoat Capital, the investment manager, said conditions were “ripe” to go public.
“We’re really excited,” he said. “We see a big opportunity in front of us. We think the market is ripe for consolidation and our plans are to focus on executing our growth strategy over the coming months and years.
“We were very pleased with the demand. We attracted some really interesting investors right across the board, from across European, the UK, and Irish institutions.
“We think the sector is well understood and people were attracted to the Irish regulatory regime and the stability of it. We were very pleased with the book of investors we got in the end.
“If you look at Ireland, we set ourselves ambitious 2020 targets and there is significant investment required to deliver those targets. Looking ahead to that, and beyond 2020, these are long-term assets.
“The need to decarbonise is becoming more and more evident and we expect growth opportunities to continue beyond 2020.”
Investors include the State’s Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and AIB, which helped finance the initial portfolio, comprising 137 megawatts of wind farm assets in Munster that the firm acquired this year from Canada’s Brookfield Renewable Partners.
Mr O’Donnell said the listing would provide the platform to build upon its initial portfolio of operational wind farms, with a “substantial pipeline of future acquisition opportunities” in the Irish market.
“There is 4.3GW of onshore wind expected to be in operation in Ireland by 2020, and we believe that Greencoat Renewables is very well placed to generate attractive returns for shareholders for the long-term,” he said.
On the IPO process itself, he said it had been an “intense and very exciting” experience.
“We set ourselves a target of trying to list before the summer window closed, so it was a pretty intense three month window,” he said.
“We got very positive early market reaction so we recognise that demand is there and the interest is there from international institutional investors. That was the impetus to get it over the line.”