Written by Manuel Baigorri and Scott Deveau. This article first appeared in Bloomberg News.
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is in advanced talks to buy the 41.5 percent stake in Atlantica Yield Plc held by Abengoa SA as the beleaguered Spanish solar-energy company seeks to cut debt, according to people familiar with the matter.
Brookfield’s clean energy unit, Brookfield Renewable Partners LP, and Abengoa could reach an agreement within weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. No final decisions have been made and other bidders also remain interested in the stake, the people said.
Representatives for Abengoa and Brookfield, Canada’s largest alternative asset manager, declined to comment. A representative for Atlantica Yield didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Atlantica Yield’s shares climbed 5 percent Thursday to close at $20.42 in New York trading. Abengoa’s almost 500 million euros of reinstated March 2023 junior notes are quoted at about 5 cents on the euro, down from about 6 cents a week ago, Bloomberg data show. The company’s Class A shares rose 3.7 percent to 2.8 cents at 9:45 a.m. in Madrid.
Brookfield this year agreed to acquire all of TerraForm Global Inc. and a controlling stake in TerraForm Power Inc., bankrupt SunEdison Inc.’s two yieldcos that would come with almost 4 gigawatts of wind and solar.
Abengoa, which last year faced becoming Spain’s largest insolvency, may suffer new financial pressures after losing a court case brought by disgruntled creditors. The Seville-based company filed for preliminary creditor protection in 2015 after failing to raise capital and struggling under debt built up through years of overseas expansion. Following the restructuring, a group including Elliott Management Corp., Centerbridge Partners and Varde Partners became its largest shareholder.
Atlantica Yield is a so-called yieldco, created to buy and operate power plants and provide capital for the developer to build new projects.