Neoen launches rights issue to boost Europe, Australia projects
March 16 (Reuters) - French renewables firm Neoen NEOEN.PA on Tuesday launched a capital increase of around 600 million euros ($716 million) set to boost projects across Australia, France, and Finland as part of expansion plans estimated to cost more than 5 billion euros.
The owner of Australia's Victorian Big Battery last week flagged capital hikes of up to 1.2 billion euros to fund the plan, as it looks to double its power capacity by 2025, mainly in countries where it already operates. nL1N2L90D0
"We are already filling a good half of the estimated need, and have enough to take us to the end of 2022," CEO Xavier Barbaro told Reuters on a call, adding that the funds would help contribute to the construction of tens of projects.
Barbaro pointed to large storage projects already under way in Australia, its Finnish wind farm - which has signed up clients such as Alphabet's Google GOOGL.O, Philips PHG.AS and Heineken HEIN.AS - and newly awarded projects in France set to start construction in the coming months. nL1N2K009W
While focussing on Australia and Europe, Neoen also plans to build capacity in Mexico, despite caution over ongoing tensions between the government and the private electricity sector. nL2N2L11OG
Neoen, which priced the rights issue at 28 euros per share, said it had received commitments from its main shareholder Impala for around 199 million euros, as well as from core stakeholders FSP and Bpifrance for around 34 million and 20 million euros, respectively.
Following the issue, set to run until the end of the month, a shareholder holding 1% would see this diluted to 0.8%, it said in a statement.
($1 = 0.8385 euros)
(Reporting by Sarah Morland in Gdansk; editing by Jason Neely)
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