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Market News

 June 15, 2011
Fukushima disaster helps spark upsets in the renewable energy sector

 The renewable energy space is expected to see a high level of M&A activity in the next 12 months, according to a new report published by mergermarket, in association with Rödl & Partner.

In a survey conducted in Q2 2011 of 100 senior M&A practitioners involved in the renewable energy sector, 72% expect an increase in renewable energy M&A activity. This bullish sentiment could be attributed to a number of factors, including the devastating effects of the Fukushima disaster.

 

Roughly  67% of respondents expect Europe to be at the forefront of this increase, forecasting the region will see significant activity.   

Dr. Marcus Felsner, Rödl & Partner Nuremberg, noted that "The renewables industry has established itself as a major pillar of global economic growth. Given the dynamic of events earlier this year, the commercial, political and social drive for fossil fuel independence has only further empowered investors, big and small. High transaction activity in this promising sector - both in developed and emerging markets - is poised to continue well into the future." 

This is attributed by some respondents to Europe's variety of resources, with one respondent noting that: "Europe has a great diversity: The Nordics are great for wind power; Italy, Spain and Greece for solar; and continental Europe for geothermal and biomass."

 

The long-term feed-in tariffs introduced by Germany are also highlighted as an important aid in bolstering renewable energy investment.

 

The renewable sector globally has seen 51 deals at a total value of €10.6bn this year-to-date. Iberdrola's pending 20% stake bid for Iberdrola Renovables SA is the biggest deal of the year at €2.6bn, followed by Electricite de France SA's €1.5bn bid for EDF Energies Nouvelles SA (50% stake).

 

Additional findings in the report include: 

  • A number of respondents commented on the recent Fukushima disaster, believing it will prompt a movement towards rethinking nuclear energy, making the renewable energy sector an attractive alternative; 

  •   Respondents are split with regards to what impact the revolutions in North Africa will have on the renewable energy sector, with 44% believing that it will have an impact and 41% believing that it will not. A small percentage of respondents remain uncertain;

  • More than two-thirds of respondents (67%) say that emerging markets are very important in the context of M&A activity in the renewable energy space;

  • The wind power and solar thermal niches are expected to see bustling M&A over next year, while biomass gains greater prominence;

  • Respondents deem SPVs as an ever more attractive option for acquisitions, while interest in classical share deals wanes;

  • Nearly three-quarters of the survey pool (72%) believe government support will be a very significant external driver of M&A activity in the renewable energy sector over the coming year;

  • Nearly one-third of respondents (31%) believe feed-in tariffs constitute the most effective government policy for driving investment in the renewable energy sector.

Click here to download the full report