Acciona considers listing renewable energy business in Europe

Acciona Energia Internacional has a net generating capacity of around 2,200 megawatts in wind energy, photovoltaic and Concentrated Solar Power plants in 11 countries including the United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Italy, Portugal, Poland and South Africa.

Acciona is considering listing its renewable energy business in Europe, instead of the United States as it had originally planned, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

Last summer, private equity firm KKR acquired a one-third stake in Acciona’s international wind farms arm with a view to jointly list a so-called “yieldco” in the United States in the first half of this year.

As with the recent listings of the renewable assets of Spanish companies ACS and Abengoa, such “yieldco” companies own and operate the generating assets of their parent firms, guaranteeing a stable cash flow that can be paid out in dividends.

However, conditions have changed since then, with interest rates and the cost of capital falling in Europe and rising in the United States, one of the sources said, making a U.S listing less attractive.

European interest rates are at record lows while the European Central Bank only just began a trillion-euro quantitative easing programme last March at the same time as the U.S. stimulus plan is drawing to a close.