S.A.G. Solarstrom signed a purchase contract with an institutional investor for the 48 MWp project “Serenissima“ in Northern Italy on December 31. The contract is subject to the customary conditions precedent. Signing the contract was an important step in the selling process of this, the largest project in the corporate history of S.A.G. Solarstrom AG to date.
The project was completed and brought into service on August 31, 2011. Final processing and payment of the purchase price, which is in the triple-digit million-euro range, as well as transfer of the corporate shares, will take place in the first quarter of 2012.
“Serenissima is an important milestone for S.A.G. Solarstrom AG, both from a technical and a sales-oriented point of view. We have connected our – to date largest – project to grid almost four months before the originally planned date, and are feeding directly into the high-voltage network via a transformer substation that we constructed ourselves. The system is demonstrating the high level of performance we expected and we have now also sold the project as planned on schedule by the end of 2011“, says Dr. Karl Kuhlmann, CEO of S.A.G. Solarstrom AG. “This is thanks to the extraordinary performance of the entire S.A.G. team. Our technical team worked tirelessly up until completion and until the photovoltaic system was connected to the electricity grid. And our sales and financing team forged ahead with the project, ignoring Sundays and public holidays in 2011, up to and including December 31“.
In the negotiations, a European financial investor was accepted over other prospective customers as a buyer for the attractive project. The sale will be concluded with the institutional investor and the corporate shares of the project company, together with their financing and purchase price payment, transferred to the S.A.G. Solarstrom Group in the first quarter of 2012.
“We spent a very long time in intensive negotiations with various prospective customers regarding the project, and even decided against certain offers“, explains Oliver Günther, Sales Director of S.A.G. Solarstrom AG. “The new Conto Energia, in particular, and the increasingly difficult general conditions in the solar industry dragged out negotiations. However, Serenissima is an extremely attractive project, so we deliberately took the time to negotiate a suitable price with the right investor. At the same time, the new Italian solar tax also needs to be taken into consideration”, Günther continues.
“The financing conditions, in particular for projects of this size, have increasingly deteriorated over the course of the year”, says Christoph Koch, Financial Director of S.A.G. Solarstrom AG. “The commitment by the Deutsche Bank to interim financing in the amount of €80 million in the middle of the financial crisis and the emerging bank crisis was really a major achievement and a mark of confidence, even though the financing costs were high and have unfortunately risen considerably due to the European debt crisis and resulting bank crisis over the course of the year“, explains Koch.
With this project, S.A.G. Solarstrom AG proved that it is can be considered one of the leading independent providers of photovoltaic systems in Europe, and with good reason. “That is why we are convinced that we will be able to maintain our market position, even in the very challenging mood of the emerging 2012“, says Dr. Kuhlmann in conclusion.