GE and Alterra Acquire ABW Solar Projects

GE Energy Financial Services, a division of GE Capital, and Alterra Power Corp. closed the acquisition and financing of the ABW Solar Projects, a cluster of three solar photovoltaic power projects located in southwestern Ontario with approximately 50 MW of nameplate capacity.

The projects were designed and constructed by First Solar Development (Canada), Inc., a subsidiary of First Solar, Inc., and were sold to ABW Solar General Partnership. The ABW Partnership consists of majority owner GE Energy Financial Services and Alterra Power Corp., which made an equity contribution and serves as the projects' managing partner.

The ABW Partnership raised debt financing for the acquisition by way of three credit facilities that committed approximately $200 million. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acted as the lead arranger of the syndicate of lenders that included The Canada Life Assurance Company, The Great-West Life Assurance Company, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, and Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.

GE Energy Financial Services was represented internally by Marc Adler, its senior commercial counsel. Alterra Power Corp. was represented internally by Rupert Legge, its executive vice president, legal, and corporate secretary. ABW Partnership was advised by Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP on both the debt financing and the acquisition itself with a team led by Mark Ledwell and Myron Dzulynsky and included Lilly Wong and Christine Mason (debt finance); Ian Mondrow (regulatory), Samir Gassanov (real estate), Neeta Sahadev (asset acquisition), Ian Richler (environmental), Scott Smith (aboriginal) and Michael Bussmann (tax).

First Solar, Inc. and First Solar Development (Canada), Inc. (First Solar) were represented by Jason Dymbort, general counsel, Americas, First Solar, Inc. First Solar was advised by Bennett Jones LLP with respect to project development and the divestiture of the projects. The Bennett Jones team was led by Michael Barrett (corporate and M&A) and included Jane Helmstadter, Aleks Finelli and Craig Garbe (real estate) and Bernard Morris (tax). Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (Washington DC) advised First Solar with respect to debt financing with a team of David Armstrong (energy and infrastructure), Martin Klepper (project finance) and Nike Opadiran (energy and infrastructure).

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and the other lenders were advised by McCarthy Tétrault LLP with a team of Stephen Furlan (project finance), Lynn Parsons (project finance), Sean O'Neill (power), Joel Heard (construction), Andrew Collingwood (real estate) and William Fyfe (project finance).