Solar energy firm SOLEK closes financing for Chile projects

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PRAGUE, May 30 (Reuters) -Solar energy firm SOLEK has closed a $379 million financing package including a private placement of 20-year bonds in the United States for its projects in Chile, the company said on Tuesday.

The privately owned Czech firm said it raised $178 million through the private placement as well as $75 million in mezzanine financing, plus other forms of loans.

SOLEK said it owns a 284 MW portfolio of photovoltaic plants in Chile and has projects for 400 MW more.

"This flexible financing will allow us to focus on our PV projects and further development," said Zdeněk Sobotka, founder, and chief executive of SOLEK Group.

BNP Paribas and Natixis New York branch acted as placement agents, arrangers and lenders, the company said.

The proceeds from the private-placement bonds will be used to finance expansion plans and refinance existing debt, SOLEK said.

SOLEK said it has installed 18 solar plants in Europe and 35 in Chile so far, and has 38 Chile projects in the pipeline for this year and next.

It aims to have 400MW of capacity installed by the end of this year globally, and also had projects for 1.4 GW capacity in Europe, with plans in Greece and Romania in the most advanced stage.

Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Leslie Adler


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