Fir Tree Partners Completes Sale of sPower, the Largest US Independent Solar Developer, to AES and AIMCo for $1.6 Billion
Fir Tree Partners (Fir Tree) announced today that it has completed the sale of FTP Power LLC (sPower), the largest independent owner, operator and developer of utility-scale solar assets in the United States, to a joint venture co-controlled by The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), on behalf of certain of its clients, for approximately $1.6 billion in cash and assumed non-recourse debt. Since its formation by Fir Tree in early 2014, sPower has grown from virtually no operating projects to the nation’s largest independent utility-scale solar business, with an operating portfolio of approximately 1.3 GW and a development portfolio of more than 10 GW. The sPower portfolio is composed of more than 75 utility scale solar and wind distributed electrical generation systems operating across 11 states – five red and six blue – demonstrating that clean energy works irrespective of politics.
“It is extremely rewarding to realize Fir Tree’s vision for sPower with the closing of the transaction between our company and AES and AIMCo,” said Jeffrey Tannenbaum, Chairman of the Board of sPower and founder of Fir Tree Partners. “We built a highly profitable business that will drive skilled worker job creation, local economic activity, and reduced environmental damage. We achieved this in spite of many obstacles that appear when a new industry challenges the status quo. It is our clear hope that sPower, led by its highly-talented team, serves as a major catalyst for the acceleration of AES’ portfolio to renewable energy, and that its positive impact continues far into the future.”
Scott Troeller, an sPower board member, said, “sPower’s innovation and significant commercial success in just three years is testament to its outstanding management team and demonstrates the increasingly attractive attributes of solar and wind generation. Renewable energy is no longer about relying on government subsidies. Rather, it has become about falling costs, increasing efficiency and an evolution towards becoming the best source for electricity to drive both economic and social returns. sPower proves this with its strong job creation, economic and environmental impact.”
sPower has been a source of high paying jobs for skilled workers across the country, often union labor. In the past year alone, sPower’s construction projects have employed more than 2,500 people resulting in over 1.5 million union hours. In 2016, the Company generated millions in economic activity attributable to salaries, taxes and local business spending in the 74 cities in which sPower operates. To put sPower’s environmental impact in perspective, upon completion of its near-term pipeline in 2017, approximately 250,000 homes will be powered by sPower’s clean energy, reducing three million metric tons of carbon pollution each year. This is roughly equivalent to either taking 450,000 cars off our nation’s roads or planting 2.3 million acres of forest, about the size of the entire state of Connecticut.
“With the help of Fir Tree, we have experienced incredible growth while positively impacting our communities. We are proud of the lasting platform we have built and role it will play in driving the proliferation of clean energy across the US. On behalf of the entire sPower team, I want to thank Fir Tree for its support and vision that have been so critical to our success,” said Ryan Creamer, Chief Executive Officer of sPower.
About Fir Tree Partners: Fir Tree, founded in 1994, is a private investment firm that invests worldwide in public and private companies, real estate, and debt. Fir Tree manages assets on behalf of leading endowments, foundations, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds. The firm maintains offices in New York and Miami.
About sPower: Headquartered in Salt Lake City, with offices in San Francisco, Long Beach and New York City, sPower is the largest private owner of operating solar assets in the United States. sPower owns and operates more than 150 utility and commercial distributed electrical generation systems across the U.S, producing in excess of 1.1 GW of power. Additionally, sPower has an in-construction and development pipeline in excess of 10.0 GW. To learn more, please visit www.spower.com.
About AES: The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 200 global power company. We provide affordable, sustainable energy to 17 countries through our diverse portfolio of distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities. Our workforce of 19,000 people is committed to operational excellence and meeting the world’s changing power needs. Our 2016 revenues were $14 billion and we own and manage $36 billion in total assets. To learn more, please visit www.aes.com. Follow AES on Twitter @TheAESCorp.
About AIMCo: AIMCo is one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment managers with more than $100 billion of assets under management. AIMCo was established on January 1, 2008 with a mandate to provide superior long-term investment results for its clients. AIMCo operates at arms-length from the Government of Alberta and invests globally on behalf of 32 pension, endowment and government funds in the Province of Alberta.