German renewable fund provider CHORUS plans third quarter initial public offering

Frankfurt listing for 250MW solar and wind investment firm

CHORUS Gruppe, a German renewable fund provider that owns around 250MW worth of solar and wind capacity in Europe, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares on Frankfurt’s stock exchange for the start of the third quarter.

It aims to raise around €100m via the issuance of new shares and the sale of a 4.2% stake held by investors. Assuming strong demand for the IPO, CHORUS said it would exercise a “green shoe” option equalling 15% of the volume of shares in the initial offer.

CHORUS’ founders and management own 23% of the company’s share capital, with the other 77% in a free float including private investors, foundations and family offices. Its IPO is being underwritten by German private banks Berenberg and BHF-Bank.

CHORUS’s supervisory board is chaired by Peter Heidecker, the former investment and insurance executive who founded the firm in 1998. Other members include Christine Scheel, former member of the Bundestag (German Parliament), where she served as Chair of the Financial Committee from 1998 until 2005. She is a former member of the Administrative Board of German development finance bank KfW.

As part of the move, CHORUS Gruppe is changing its name to CHORUS Clean Energy AG. Chief Executive of the renamed firm is Holger Götze, who told Responsible Investor: “With the IPO we want to strengthen our capital base and get more flexibility to grow the business.”Through three funds for institutional clients, CHORUS has invested a total of €673m to acquire 67 wind and solar parks in five European markets. They have a combined capacity of 250MW and are located in Germany, Finland, France, Austria and Italy. Added Götze: “Looking forward, we plan on acquiring another 600MW worth of wind and solar power in key European markets.”

“We want to strengthen our capital base.”

Last year the firm, based in a Munich suburb, had sales of €55m (up 10.7% from previous year) and pre-tax profits of €7.9m. Following the IPO, CHORUS’ shares will be listed on the “Prime Standard” segment of Frankfurt’s bourse, meaning that the firm will use the IFRS accounting standard and report on a quarterly basis to investors.

Elsewhere, NextEnergy European Solar Utility Plc is planning an IPO on the London Stock Exchange to raise money for the acquisition of up to 1.3GW worth of solar energy assets in Europe, with a focus on Spain and Italy.

It will be chaired by former Italian Stock Exchange Chairman Stefano Preda, with the other board members comprising Javier Herrero (formerly CEO of Iberdrola), Paolo Braghieri (currently CEO of GE Capital’s subsidiary Interbanca) amongst others. CHORUS’s home page.