SunEdison gets wind power firm

SunEdison and its power-plant holding company, TerraForm Power Inc. (TERP), agreed to buy closely held First Wind Holdings Inc. for $2.4 billion, expanding the types of renewable-energy projects it can develop.


SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE), a leading global solar developer, and TerraForm Power, Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP), a global owner and operator of renewable energy power plants, today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to acquire First Wind, one of the leading developers, owners and operators of wind projects in the U.S.

With the purchase, SunEdison acquires the leading independent wind development and asset management company and becomes the leading global renewable energy development company. As a result, SunEdison raises its 2015 project installation guidance from 1.6-1.8 GW to 2.1-2.3 GW.  SunEdison shareholders are expected to benefit from increased project development cash flow, asset management revenues, and dividend payments from TerraForm Power.  The transaction also will accelerate the timing and enhance the visibility of SunEdison’s receipt of incentive distribution rights (“IDRs”) from TerraForm Power, and increase the value of SunEdison’s yieldco platform.

The transaction is immediately accretive to TerraForm Power and is expected to deliver $72.5 million in unlevered cash available for distribution (“CAFD”) in 2015.   Pro forma for the transaction, TerraForm Power raises its 2015 CAFD guidance to $214 million and 2015 dividend guidance to $1.30 per share, a 44% increase over its current $0.90 dividend rate.

SunEdison will purchase over 1.6 GW of pipeline and backlog projects, which have been added to TerraForm Power’s call right project list and are expected to be operational in 2016-2017.  Included in the transaction is an additional 6.4 GW of project development opportunities.  SunEdison expects to accelerate the rate of project development and realize significant synergies and growth opportunities by integrating First Wind’s wind platform into its own global project development and finance platform.

TerraForm Power acquires 521 MW of contracted wind generation assets from First Wind and adds 1.6 GW to its list of call right projects scheduled for drop down in 2016-2017.  The acquisition increases the generation capacity of TerraForm Power’s operating portfolio by more than 50% and provides further geographic diversity in Maine, New York, Hawaii, Vermont and Massachusetts.  In addition, subsequent to the acquisition, TerraForm Power’s call right project list with SunEdison will double to 3.2 GW of solar and wind projects.

“The acquisition of First Wind transforms both SunEdison and TerraForm Power into diversified renewable energy companies and will make SunEdison the leading renewable power plant developer in the world,” said Ahmad Chatila, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunEdison.  “By bringing together First Wind’s proven development and operational capabilities and SunEdison’s global corporate infrastructure and renewable energy development and finance experience, we will be well-positioned to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities in the global wind power markets and drive returns to shareholders of both SunEdison and TerraForm Power.”

“This acquisition is immediately accretive and establishes TerraForm Power as a leading asset owner in the wind energy market while demonstrating the Company’s commitment to delivering on TerraForm Power’s diversified growth strategy,” said Carlos Domenech, President and Chief Executive Officer of TerraForm Power.  “We are adding significant CAFD through a transaction with a greater than 9% levered cash-on-cash yield, increasing our dividend by 44% and expanding the potential drivers of our long-term growth.”

“We are excited to become part of the SunEdison team,” said Paul Gaynor, Chief Executive Officer of First Wind.  “This new strategic organization will allow us to join with SunEdison to develop and invest in new, long-term-contracted, well-sited and well-run renewable energy projects that deliver clean energy to homes and businesses across the country and internationally.  We will be able to leverage our strength in development and operations, proven during the completion of 1.5 GW of wind projects over eight years, with two world-class companies.”

Transaction Details

Total consideration for the acquisition of First Wind is up to $2.4 billion, comprised of $1.9 billion in upfront consideration and a $510 million earn-out.

SunEdison’s portion of the total consideration is $1.5 billion, comprised of an upfront consideration of $1.0 billion and the earn-out. As part of its upfront consideration, SunEdison will issue a $340 million seller note.  The earn-out will be payable by SunEdison subject to completion of certain projects in First Wind’s backlog.  TerraForm Power will acquire First Wind’s operating portfolio for an enterprise value of $862 million.

Concurrently, SunEdison will put in place a $1.5 billion non-recourse warehouse financing facility, for projects expected to be dropped down into TerraForm, that will provide certainty of financing for the Company to complete the build-out of its backlog and pipeline projects, including those acquired from First Wind.

TerraForm Power and SunEdison have secured fully committed bridge financing to support the aggregate First Wind transaction consideration, refinance TerraForm Power’s existing indebtedness, and fund future growth through the drop down warehouse facility.

The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2015, subject to usual and customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

Morgan Stanley acted as lead financial advisor and provided a fairness opinion to SunEdison.  Barclays acted as co-advisor to SunEdison and lead structuring agent on the financing.  BofA Merrill Lynch acted as lead financial advisor to TerraForm in connection with the First Wind acquisition and lead structuring agent on the drop down warehouse credit facility.  Citi acted as co-advisor to TerraForm.  Lazard provided a fairness opinion to the Corporate Governance Committee of the TerraForm Board of Directors.  Goldman Sachs acted as exclusive financial advisor to First Wind.  Marathon Capital acted as advisor to First Wind’s Board of Directors.

Orrick acted as M&A counsel to SunEdison and TerraForm.  Cleary Gottlieb acted as counsel to the Corporate Governance Committee of the TerraForm Board of Directors.  Davis Polk acted as counsel to First Wind.

A live webcast of the call and presentation will be available on the events sections of both companies’ websites.  Please go to the websites at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register, download and install any necessary audio software.  An archived recording of the call will be available on the events page of the investor sections of SunEdison’s and TerraForm Power’s websites and at the telephone number below following the call.

SunEdison is a global leader in transforming how energy is generated, distributed and owned. SunEdison manufactures solar technology and develops, finances, installs and operates distributed solar power plants, delivering predictably priced electricity and services to its residential, commercial, government and utility customers.  SunEdison also provides 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services for hundreds of solar systems worldwide via the Company’s Renewable Operation Center (ROC). SunEdison has offices in North America, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.  SunEdison’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SUNE.”

TerraForm Power (Nasdaq: TERP) is a renewable energy leader that is changing how energy is generated, distributed and owned.  TerraForm Power creates value for its investors by owning and operating renewable energy power plants.

First Wind is an independent renewable energy company exclusively focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale renewable energy projects in the United States.  Based in Boston, First Wind is operating or building renewable energy projects in the Northeast, the West and Hawaii, with combined capacity of nearly 1,300 megawatts (MW) – enough to power more than 425,000 homes each year.