National Bank Financial and Sun Life Financial Announce Closing of Project Borealis PV Solar Farms in Ontario, Canada
National Bank Financial Inc. (“National Bank Financial”) and Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (“Sun Life Assurance”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun Life Financial Inc., are pleased to announce the successful closing of private placement financings totalling $390 million of Senior Secured Construction and Acquisition Term Loan Facilities for a 108 megawatt (MW) portfolio of solar photovoltaic projects, being developed by Recurrent Energy, in Ontario, Canada.
The portfolio consists of ten solar sites, known as Project Borealis, which is currently under construction and expected to be completed in early 2014. Each of the sites has received an Ontario Feed-in-Tariff (“FIT”) contract and upon commissioning, the generated energy, sufficient to power approximately 10,800 homes, will be sold to the Ontario Power Authority at a fixed rate of 44.3 cents per kilowatt hour for the next 20 years.
National Bank Financial and Sun Life Assurance acted as debt co-underwriters for the unrated private placement financings. National Bank Financial also acted as bookrunner on the financings and is acting as administrative agent for the lenders on an ongoing basis. Sun Life Assurance acted as lead lender on the financings..
The term of the amortizing debt facilities is construction plus 19 years. Semi-annual coupons will be paid at a fixed rate and principal repayments are made throughout the operating period.
The portfolio of projects is being developed by San Francisco-based solar developer, Recurrent Energy, who has invested significantly in the Ontario solar market. Upon construction completion, investors Fiera Axium Infrastructure and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company will act as the new equity sponsors and have agreed to purchase the sites from Recurrent Energy under a forward purchase and sale agreement.
“We are delighted to be part of this significant transaction and pleased to be able to assist Recurrent Energy, MetLife and Fiera Axium in their investments in Ontario’s renewable energy initiatives” said Peter Hepburn, Head and Managing Director of the Infrastructure Finance Group, National Bank Financial. “The underwriting commitment provided by National Bank and Sun Life for both the construction and acquisition loans was a key feature in enabling the transaction to take place.”
“Given Sun Life's focus on sustainable investment, we were pleased to support the sponsors on the Project Borealis transaction - a clean reliable source of renewable energy for Ontario communities. The innovative structure further highlights the benefits of a customized private placement financing solution” said John Vincent, Senior Managing Director and Head of Project Finance, Sun Life Financial.
The portfolio of projects will use solar modules manufactured by Celestica, LLC and will be operated by EDF Renewable Services. The debt financings were split into four clusters, with each cluster consisting of two or three solar farms. Each legally and operationally distinct cluster was financed independently on a non-recourse project finance basis.
About National Bank of Canada
With $188 billion in assets as at October 31, 2013, National Bank of Canada (www.nbc.ca) together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada’s leading integrated financial groups, and has been named among the 20 strongest banks in the world by Bloomberg Markets magazine. The Bank has close to 20,000 employees and is widely recognized as a top employer. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). Follow the Bank's activities via social media and learn more about its extensive community involvement at clearfacts.ca and commitment.nationalbank.ca.
About National Bank Financial
With $80 billion in assets under administration, National Bank Financial is a fully-integrated investment dealer combining retail advisory and brokerage services with institutional brokerage, investment banking, corporate finance, and securities clearing for third parties. National Bank Financial offers its services to more than 350,000 clients. Its Financial Markets division has a major presence in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal, as well as operations in the United States and Europe.
About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun Life Financial Inc. and a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies. Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2013 the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $590 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
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