Assured Guaranty wraps fifth guaranteed solar bond transaction in Spain
Assured Guaranty (Europe) SA (AGE), an indirect subsidiary of Assured Guaranty, has guaranteed principal and interest payments on approximately EUR125 million of bonds issued on 21 May 2021 by Anselma Issuer SA, an entity owned by Qualitas Venture Capital.
As a result of AGE’s wrap, the bonds are rated AA by S&P Global Ratings. The underlying project is rated BBB.
The 17-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 AGE’s fifth transaction in the renewables industry in Spain in the past two years.
The portfolio comprises 18 photovoltaic solar (PV) 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 18 PV plants all have an operational track record of 13-14 years prior to the refinancing. The contractor responsible for the operations, maintenance and asset management of the project is Q-Energy Asset Management SL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualitas Group.
Domiciled in Paris, AGE is responsible for Assured Guaranty’s financial guarantee business in continental Europe. AGE is rated AA by S&P Global Ratings and AA+ by Kroll Bond Rating Agency.
Dominic Nathan, AGE’s Head of Underwriting for Infrastructure Finance, says:“We’ve now completed five renewable energy transactions in Spain in just 24 months, supporting our decision to strengthen our presence in the country. This transaction also represents our third Spanish solar deal following the outbreak of Covid-19 and proves our continued value to investors and sponsors, particularly under difficult market conditions.”
Nick Proud, Directeur Général of AGE, and Senior Managing Director–International and Structured Finance of Assured Guaranty, says: “The transaction shows the continued growth of our European insurance company Assured Guaranty (Europe) SA, which began writing business in 2020. We look forward to expanding our European footprint further in key geographies and sectors.”
AGE’s legal advisers on the transaction were Linklaters LLP.
The Issuer was advised by Watson Farley & Williams Spain, SLP.
The Bond Joint Lead Managers in the transaction were Banco de Sabadell, S.A. and Banco Santander, SA.