Munich Re, KKR Buy 49% of T-Solar’s Assets in Spain, Italy

July 18 (Bloomberg) -- T-Solar Global SA, the biggest operator of photovoltaic power plants, sold a 49 percent stake in its Spanish and Italian solar parks to Munich Re and KKR & Co. as it seeks funds for global expansion.

Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, and the New York-based private-equity firm KKR bought into 42 operating parks with a total capacity of 168 megawatts, Madrid’s T-Solar said today in a statement. Munich Re acquired 37 percent through its MEAG Munich Ergo AssetManagement GmbH unit and KKR got 12 percent, Josef Wild, a MEAG spokesman, said by phone, declining to disclose the price. Both have an option to buy future plants.

T-Solar, a unit of Spanish builder Grupo Isolux Corsan SA, is seeking funds as it plans to triple solar capacity to 500 megawatts by 2014. The company installed most of its plants in Spain in 2007 and 2008, driven by subsidies for solar energy, before the government last year reduced the hours that many plants could earn above-market rates for their power.

T-Solar has spent 1.07 billion euros ($1.5 billion) on its operating assets, according to today’s statement. Handing stakes to Munich Re and KKR “enables us to expand our presence in the solar photovoltaic sector,” Juan Laso, T-Solar’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. Spokesmen for Isolux and T-Solar didn’t respond to calls.

Munich Re Investment

Munich Re plans to invest 2.5 billion euros “relatively quickly” into renewable-energy and technology assets that promise “low risk and attractive returns,” Wild said. In December, MEAG kicked off the spending program with a “low three-digit million” investment in 40 wind turbines in Germany with a total output of 73 megawatts.

For KKR, the acquisition is its second renewable-energy investment in Europe in just over a month. At the start of June, KKR formed a partnership with Italy’s Sorgenia SpA to develop wind-power projects in France.

KKR bought into T-Solar because renewable energy is “one of the most promising areas of infrastructure,” Jesus Olmos, European head of the company’s infrastructure business, said in the statement. “The Spanish renewables sector is currently an attractive investment destination,” he said.

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