Partners considers sale of German renewables firm VSB, sources say

By Thomson Reuters Mar 8, 2024 | 8:35 AM

By Andres Gonzalez, Emma-Victoria Farr and Isla Binnie

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Partners Group is exploring options, including a sale, FOR German renewable energy company VSB Group, six sources familiar with the matter said.

The Swiss private equity firm has been interviewing financial advisers in the last few weeks, the sources said, adding that the sale process could begin in the second quarter.

A sale of VSB could reach a valuation of up to $2 billion including debt, two of the sources said, while a third said that value would be between $1 and $2 billion.

The sources, who requested anonymity as the matter is confidential, cautioned that a deal is not guaranteed and is subject to market conditions.

Partners Group declined to comment. VSB did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The possible sale coincides with a drop in renewable asset values, although interest in the sector remains high as the European Union requires 42.5% of the bloc’s energy to be renewable by 2030.

If a sale goes ahead, VSB is likely to attract interest from infrastructure funds and utilities, two of the sources said.

Utilities and oil firms have been selling renewable assets to sovereign wealth and infrastructure funds, which ask for lower returns, to finance the costs of developing new projects.

Earlier this week, German-based renewable energy producer Encavis AG said it was in talks with KKR about interest in a potential transaction.

Partners first invested in 2020 in VSB, which employs 500 people in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Romania, Greece, Finland and Croatia, its website says.

Partners acquired Exus, an international renewables asset management and development firm, in October and has decided to sell VSB instead of merging the two, which was one of the options, one of the sources said.

(Reporting by Andres Gonzalez, Emma-Victoria Farr and Isla Binnie; Editing by Anousha Sakoui and Alexander Smith)