ACEN gets full ownership of Aussie joint venture

upc-ac renewables australia

AC Energy (ACEN) is acquiring the remaining 51.6% stake in its in joint venture with UPC Renewables in Australia, giving the Ayala-led firm its first wholly-owned development and operating platform outside of the Philippines.

ACEN, through subsidiary AC Renewables International Pte. Ltd., will acquire UPC’s stake for an estimated $243.3 million (around Php12.4 billion). In turn, UPC will subscribe to up to 942 million common shares of ACEN for Php11.32 per share, subject to adjustments.

Apart from the 520-megawatt (MW) New England Solar Farm in New South Wales, which is currently under construction, AC Energy will be acquiring over 8,000MW of renewable energy (RE) projects in the pipeline across four Australian states.

UPC\AC Renewables Australia, the two firms’ joint venture company, was formed in 2018.

“This transaction marks a strategic pivot for ACEN, as the company embarks on its first wholly-owned development and operations platform outside of the Philippines. We are excited to scale up investment in our Australia platform, as we expect the country to accelerate its energy transition,” ACEN President and CEO Eric Francia said in a statement.

“The strong partnership with ACEN has flourished over the years. We welcome the opportunity to integrate the UPC Australia platform in ACEN’s growing renewable portfolio in the region. The joint initiatives we have established in the [RE] sector is a testament to what the teams can bring together and take ACEN to the next stage of growth,” said UPC Renewables Founder and CEO Brian Caffyn.

The acquisition is subject to satisfaction of agreed conditions precedent, and consents and regulatory approvals, including the consent or non-objection of the Foreign Investment Review Board of Australia.

AC Energy announced on Monday that it is launching its first battery energy storage system facility in Vietnam. Along with the UPC Australia acquisition, these form part of the company’s goal to build 5,000MW in its RE portfolio by 2025. Ayala’s power arm also aims to become Southeast Asia’s largest listed RE platform.