Solar firm calls in Pelham BP for LSE IPO

Engyco appoints Pelham Bell Pottinger to handle EUR1bn LSE flotation.

Egyco: solar panel firm plans float
Egyco: solar panel firm plans float

Pelham Bell Pottinger is to support the 'bold' EUR1bn (£900m) flotation of Europe's first listed solar power utility firm.

Solar utility firm Engyco is to use the proceeds from an IPO on the London Stock Exchange to snap up Spanish solar energy plants. The company outlined its plans last week in advance of a float in late April or early May and was dubbed 'one of the boldest flotations of a green company in years' by the FT last week.

The recently merged agency has been working with the firm in advance of its planned listing, having won a multi-way competitive pitch for the IPO account this year.

The firm won a project brief to manage comms around the IPO, which will migrate into a retained relationship if the flotation is a success.

The IPO market has been in suspended animation recently after the failure of IPOs from Tulchan Communications-advised Merlin Entertainments, Brunswick-advised New Look, and Travelport, which was using Finsbury, owing to tough market conditions.

However, the majority of pulled deals have been private equity-owned firms often looking to refinance debt. Industry sources suggest such floats may continue to struggle to attract increasingly discerning investors, but that there is still appetite for companies looking for capital to fund growth.

'There will be no debt in either the company or the assets it plans to buy,' said Archie Berens, director at Pelham Bell Pottinger, who is leading the account. 'There is also no risk associated with building new assets, as they are already in existence.'

The company has agreements in place for around EUR640m of such assets with a capacity of about 86MW, and will look to build a portfolio of EUR3bn of assets within three years.

One of the key planks of the comms strategy will be convincing potential investors of the ability of the board to manage these assets.

Berens said the team in place at Engyco had 'unrivalled knowledge of managing solar assets' and would highlight the experience of non-executive chairman John Roberts and chief executive Thomas Krupke.

Roberts was chief executive of United Utilities and is a non-executive director at the BlackRock New Energy Investment Trust, while Krupke was chief executive of European solar component manufacturer Solon.

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