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 Ardian Becomes Largest Shareholder in UNITe

Ardian Becomes Largest Shareholder in UNITe

Ardian, a world-leading private investment house, became the largest shareholder in UNITe, an independent power producer and developer in France, through its Clean Energy Evergreen Fund (ACEEF).

This strategic investment further enhances Ardian’s renewable energy portfolio by expanding its assets in hydropower, photovoltaics, and wind power. The deal is subject to the usual regulatory approvals, the company said on Thursday.

The UNITe – Hydrowatt Group is recognised as the leading independent player in small hydro in France, with 36 power plants, and one of the most promising photovoltaic developers. Last year, UNITe was ranked third nationally for tenders issued by the Commission de Regulation de l’Energie.

Omnes, Bpifrance (Fonds Impact Environment team) which invested in 2018, and Société Générale Capital Partenaires, which invested in 2010, agreed to sell their stake in UNITe to Ardian after successfully completing the objective they set themselves, in which UNITe has consolidated its position as an independent power producer and developer.

Since 2019, UNITe has decided to significantly grow its photovoltaic development, with projects in France totalling 1.5 GW in capacity over the coming years. Over 2023, UNITe has completed a first stage of 11 projects (140 MW) scheduled to be operational by 2025.

Ardian’s long-term support, UNITe will pursue its renewable energy strategy, participate in the expansion of these energies and embark on its next stage of development. Through ACEEF, its evergreen fund, Ardian will continue to support UNITe’s growth by helping to finance its current and future projects.

For almost 40 years, the UNITe Group has been reconciling the need for energy with respect for the environment. Today, UNITe is one of the leading independent producers of low-carbon, local, sustainable and competitive electricity in France.

Through its subsidiary GREEN-ACCESS, the group is also a leader in the valorisation of green energy., notably through the sale of Guarantees of Origin and start the negotiation of contracts for the direct supply of renewable electricity to industrial consumers.

Ardian will also provide UNITe with its OPTA digital renewable energy asset management tool. OPTA is Ardian’s in-house data analytics tool designed to optimize the management of renewable energy portfolios and monitor market risk for renewable assets worldwide. Ardian now tracks more than 2.5 GW of renewable assets through OPTA.

Opportunity for Investors

Benjamin Kennedy, Managing Director Renewables Infrastructure at Ardian, said that through ACEEF, Ardian’s mission is to offer investors the opportunity to grow their exposure to renewables and the energy transition, and to support the development of this important sector.

He also said that UNITe is an exciting addition to Ardian’s portfolio. We are excited to partner with this historically family-run business and support the impressive management team in their ambitious growth plan.

UNITe President Alexandre Albanel said that through this investment, his company will benefit from Ardian’s support as a long-term financial partner, well-adapted for supporting the group’s strong growth strategy.

Pioneer in Energy Transition

Ardian is a pioneer in the energy transition, having started investing in renewable assets in 2007. Across all Infrastructure Funds, the team manages a renewable energy portfolio of more than 8GW of heat and renewable energy capacity in Europe and the Americas, and over $28 billion assets under management (AuM) across the globe.

Recent investments made through the fund include the acquisitions of a Peru-based hydropower company, the diversified renewable energy platform ICQ Holding, and multiple wind parks in Finland, where fund also invested in the development and construction of Finnish Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) projects. 

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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