Spain's Opdenergy to kick off renewable IPO rush in April - sources

LONDON/MADRID, March 18 (Reuters) - Spain’s Opdenergy is preparing to launch an initial public offering (IPO) as soon as April, three sources told Reuters, potentially paving the way for several other energy firms to raise funds to build solar parks and wind farms in the country.

Rising demand for environmentally friendly investments is focusing attention on Spain’s under-exploited solar and more established wind sector, helped by government targets in line with international requirements to decarbonise economies and stem climate change.

Spanish energy companies, including heavyweights Acciona and Repsol, are also looking to tap this investor appetite for green assets either through stock market listings or private share sales.

Opdenergy, a renewables company, is preparing to launch its bid for a Madrid listing soon after Easter, the sources said, with one adding that the IPO could value the company at more than 1 billion euros.

Another of the sources said the planned deal size was between 400 million and 500 million euros, and the company’s current intention was to list only new shares. The deal could launch in late April with pricing in early May, the source added.

Citi and Santander are coordinating the deal, while Bank of America, Berenberg and RBC Capital Markets are bookrunners, the sources said. Spanish bank Alantra is also involved, one of the sources added.

Opdenergy declined to comment, as did all the banks apart from RBC, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A feverish ramp-up in valuations for green energy stocks last year has cooled slightly in 2021, as a rise in government bond yields offers more investment options to savers less keen to take on risk.

But the retreat looks relatively paltry: the S&P Global Clean Energy Index has fallen 15.7% so far this year, but is still 170% higher than in March 2020.

Founded in 2005, Opdenergy’s main business is developing, building and operating solar photovoltaic plants and wind farms in Spain, the United States, Mexico, Chile, Italy and Britain.

As of November, it owned sites capable of generating 350 megawatts of energy that are either already operating or in construction. It aims to boost capacity to 4.5 gigawatts by 2023.

One megawatt can power around 1,000 U.S. homes on average.

$1 = 0.8400 euros Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Kirsten Donovan