€304 million guaranteed debt refinancing of 8 solar plants in Spain
Assured Guaranty (Europe) SA (AGE SA)*, an indirect subsidiary of Assured Guaranty Ltd. (together with its subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty), announced that it has guaranteed principal and interest payments on approximately €304 million of bonds issued on 4th June 2020 by FSL Issuer S.A.U. (the Issuer), an entity owned by a group of shareholders led by Qualitas Venture Capital. As a result of Assured Guaranty’s wrap, the bonds are rated AA by S&P Global Ratings. The underlying project is rated BBB.
The 21-year fixed-rate bonds took advantage of low long-term interest rates and were privately placed in the UK. Application has been made to list the bonds on the Open Market (Freiverkehr) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The issuance represents Assured Guaranty’s third transaction in the renewables industry in Spain in the last twelve months.
The portfolio comprises 8 photovoltaic solar plants spread across a number of provinces in Spain. All plants benefit from the 2013 Spanish Regulatory Regime, which provides the project with payments from the Spanish Electricity System in order to achieve a predetermined level of return. The contractor responsible for the operations, maintenance and asset management of the project is FSL Desarrollos Renovables S.L., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualitas Group.
The transaction is guaranteed by Assured Guaranty’s European insurance company, Assured Guaranty (Europe) SA, which is domiciled in Paris. AGE SA is rated AA by S&P Global Ratings and AA+ by Kroll Bond Rating Agency.
Dominic Nathan, Managing Director, Infrastructure Finance, Assured Guaranty, commented:
"We’ve now completed three renewable energy transactions in Spain in just twelve months, confirming our aim to strengthen our presence in the country. We are particularly pleased with the execution of this transaction in the current environment because it exemplifies Assured Guaranty’s ability to continue adding value for sponsors and investors despite the prevailing market conditions."
Nick Proud, Directeur Général, AGE SA, and Senior Managing Director – International and Structured Finance, Assured Guaranty, commented:
"The transaction reinforces even further our relationship with the Qualitas Group, a leader in Europe’s PV Solar energy sector. We expect to continue developing a strategic role in an industry poised for substantial growth in the forthcoming years."
AGE SA’s legal advisers on the transaction were Linklaters LLP.
The Issuer was advised by Watson Farley & Williams Spain, S.L.P.
The Bond Joint Lead Managers in the transaction were Banco de Sabadell, S.A. and Banco Santander, S.A.
All of the securities have been sold, and this announcement is for information purposes only. This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.
The securities described herein have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended ("Securities Act"), or with any securities regulatory authority of any state or jurisdiction of the United States, and may not be offered, sold or transferred, directly or indirectly, in the United States absent registration under the Securities Act or an available exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States.
*AGE SA (a société anonyme à Conseil d'administration, company number 852 597 384 RCS Paris) is an insurer authorised and regulated by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution.
Through its insurance subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGL) is the leading provider of financial guarantees for principal and interest payments due on municipal, public infrastructure and structured financings. Through other subsidiaries, AGL provides asset management services. AGL is a publicly traded (NYSE: AGO), Bermuda-based holding company. More information on AGL and its subsidiaries can be found at AssuredGuaranty.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Any forward-looking statements made in this press release reflect AGL’s current views with respect to future events and are made pursuant to the safe harbour provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those resulting from AGL and its insurance subsidiaries’ inability to execute their strategies; the demand for their financial guarantees; adverse developments in their guaranteed or investment portfolios; actions that the rating agencies may take with respect to AGL’s insurance subsidiaries’ financial strength ratings; adverse developments in AGL’s asset management business; and other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time, management’s response to these factors, and other risk factors identified in AGL’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of 5 June 2020. Assured Guaranty undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
Robert Tucker, +1 212-339-0861
Senior Managing Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Ashweeta Durani, +1 212-408-6042
Vice President, Corporate Communications