ASX-listed New Energy Solar confirmed on Monday it had reached a binding agreement to sell its United States solar farm portfolio totalling 606 MW to international investment banking heavyweight Goldman Sachs subsidiary MN8 Energy for $352 million (US$244.5 million).
The deal comes after New Energy Solar sold its Australian solar farms to Thailand’s Banpu last year in an effort to close a large discount between the group’s share price and its net tangible asset backing.
New Energy Solar sold the 87 MW Beryl and 47 MW Manildra solar farms in New South Wales’ central west for $288 million in a bid to create value for investors but the strategy has not delivered the intended results.
The board said since the sale of its Australian assets it has implemented a series of strategic initiatives including a share buyback and a return of capital but “despite these measures, the trading discount persisted”.
New Energy Solar said the deal struck with MN8 is consistent with the net asset value of the US portfolio. The company will deliver an initial return of capital of $0.82 per share, and will deliver a further return or returns of capital estimated to total between $0.13 and $0.163 per share on winding up, which expected to take place prior to the end of 2023.
The sale remains subject to shareholder approval, with a meeting to take place on September 26.
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