TLT advises Innova Energy on £30m refinancing of 57 MW solar portfolio

TLT has supported Innova Energy with a £30m refinancing of its 57MW portfolio of UK rooftop and ground-mounted solar PV projects.

The transaction was financed by NatWest using SONIA (the Sterling Overnight Index Average) as its reference rate and is the first SONIA based project finance facility to be made available by NatWest, as well as being one of the first in the market. This is a significant step for NatWest who is leading the way in offering alternatives to LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), with the discontinuation of LIBOR expected at the end of 2021.

Real estate partner Nick Shenken led the multi-disciplinary team at TLT, with support from partner Gary Roscoe and solicitor Emily Huish on banking and finance, and partner Alice Gardner on corporate matters. A number of experts from across the firms sector and service lines provided further support.

The team advised on the finance documents and provided real estate due diligence across the portfolio, while supporting a simultaneous company restructure.

Gary Roscoe, Partner at TLT, said: “This was a complex portfolio transaction from a project perspective, and an interesting one given it is one of the first projects to receive financing using SONIA as the reference rate, an approach that is only set to gather momentum as the market moves away from LIBOR to risk-free rates.

“We are delighted to have supported Innova on another significant transaction. This funding represents a significant milestone for them, closely following their acquisition in July of a 5MW operating solar plant supplying the largest soft drink bottling facility in Europe, another excellent project we were delighted to work on with the Innova team.”

Andrew Kaye, Director of Innova Energy, commented: “NatWest’s commitment to the low carbon economy and flexible approach has helped us to put in place low-cost finance, whilst at the same time hedging our interest rate and inflation risks. This has created a secure platform upon which to grow our renewable energy portfolio and return value to our investors.

“The team at TLT has again supported us through a complex transaction, and we are grateful for their commercial and strategic approach throughout the property due diligence, banking and finance processes.”