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Arup advises First Sentier Investors on acquisition of major Australian wind portfolio

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
27 October 2020

Arup has acted as technical adviser to fund manager First Sentier Investors on its successful acquisition of John Laing’s stake in a portfolio of six Australian wind farms.

The $285m transaction, covering a total installed capacity of more than 500MW, is one of the largest operational Australian renewable energy portfolios ever brought to market.

Merrill Lee and Auret Basson led Arup’s advisory team on the bid for the Hornsdale (three phases) (SA), Granville Harbour (Tasmania), and Kiata and Cherry Tree (Victoria) wind farms. 

 

Hornsdale wind farm, South Australia Hornsdale wind farm, South Australia
Hornsdale wind farm, South Australia

Reflecting on the significance of this successful transaction, Auret said the competitiveness of the bidding process sends a clear signal that there is still strong market interest and that confidence is returning after some sentiment was lost in 2018/2019.

Arup advised First Sentier Investors on matters including asset performance and maintenance, design elements, yield forecasts, compliance, environmental risks and future opportunities that could unlock additional value. 

The Arup team drew together expertise from its offices in Australia, London, Cape Town, Glasgow, Manchester, Dublin and Boston.

Being able to incorporate experience and insights from different regions enabled Arup to provide longer term views on technology, cost and performance risks than what could be drawn from local operating assets. ”

Auret Basson Auret Basson Associate, Business and Investor Advisor

Arup has established a strong global track record of transaction advisory services in the energy sector having recently provided technical and commercial due diligence services on six multi-gigawatt renewable energy portfolio transactions.

This project very much aligns with the firm’s values on shaping a better world and it was clear from the start that we would have an opportunity to address a number of UNSDGs as part of our work. ”

Merrill Lee Dr Merrill Lee Australasia Finance and Economics Service Leader

Danny Latham, Partner FSI's Unlisted Infrastructure business, commented: "This is an important milestone for First Sentier Investors' Global Diversified Infrastructure Fund as our first investment into the rapidly growing Australian renewables sector whilst also supporting our sustainability objectives.

“The de-risked operational portfolio of diverse assets provides the fund with a platform for growth in the sector and support of Australia's transition to a low carbon economy."

Other advisers included JP Morgan, ICA Partners, White & Case, EY and RES.