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BP said to weigh bid for $1.8bn Italian solar company

Jan 22 2018 16:03
Chiara Albanese, Anna Hirtenstein and Kelly Gilblom, Bloomberg

Rome - BP is considering a bid for one of Italy’s largest collection of solar assets, according to people familiar with the matter.

Private equity company Terra Firma Capital Partners will kick off the sale of Rete Rinnovabile Srl next month, the people said, asking not to be identified because they’re not authorised to speak publicly. Rete Rinnovabile, known at RTR, is valued at about €1.5bn by Terra Firma.

BP returned to the solar power market with a $200m investment in British company Lightsource Renewable Energy last month, six years after it closed a unit that made panels. Oil companies are expanding their interests in renewables as they look for ways to make money in a world increasingly seeking cleaner forms of energy.

The sale is also attracting interest from companies from China to Abu Dhabi, the people said.

Potential suitors for RTR, which operates 130 sites nationwide, include Enel SpA, Masdar Abu Dhabi Future Energy and German utilities EON and Innogy, people familiar with the matter said in November.

A spokesperson for BP declined to comment on a potential bid.

Terra Firma initially acquired solar plants from Italian grid operator Terna Group in 2011 to form RTR. Since then, the company has grown through seven acquisitions, which have more than doubled its power output.

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