Sale of certain Rio Energy Assets, Trade Name and Platform to Equinor| Sustainable Infrastructure
Sale of certain Rio Energy Assets, Trade Name and Platform to Equinor
London (July 21, 2023) – Denham Capital, the global energy transition investment firm, has signed an agreement with Equinor for the sale of certain Rio Energy assets, the Rio Energy trade name, and the management team platform.
Rio Energy, a leading developer, owner and operator of renewable energy projects in Brazil delivers low cost, sustainable power across Brazil whilst ensuring a positive socioeconomic impact. Denham Sustainable Infrastructure’s investment and support has made Rio Energy into a nationally significant renewable energy platform in Brazil, creating a substantial portfolio of operational and under construction onshore wind projects, as well as an attractive pipeline of onshore wind and solar projects, generating clean, low-cost energy.
The sale of selected Rio Energy projects represents another example of Denham Sustainable Infrastructure’s investment strategy to acquire and build market-leading companies that support the global energy transition.
At closing of the transaction, Rio Energy companies operating under the Rio Energy trade name will be fully-owned by an Equinor subsidiary, and approximately 140 of Rio Energy’s employees will continue to manage and develop the portfolio. The acquired portfolio consists of the 0.2 GW Serra da Babilônia 1 producing onshore wind farm in the north-eastern state of Bahia, a 0.6 GW pre-construction solar PV portfolio, and a project pipeline of c.1.2 GW.
Denham is retaining 1.1 GW of Rio Energy’s assets, including three operational onshore wind projects: the 0.1 GW Caetité project; the 0.2 GW Itarema project; and the 0.2 GW Serra da Babilônia 3 project. It is also retaining the c. 0.2 GW in construction Caetité Norte onshore wind project and c. 0.4 GW of onshore wind and solar pipeline projects. Denham is establishing a new management team for these projects, and will continue to have close oversight at the board level, including board representation from Brazilian energy market experts. Denham intends to bring these projects to the market in the coming year.
The transaction is subject to typical regulatory and lender approvals.
Sarah Lane, Managing Director, Denham Sustainable Infrastructure said: “Rio Energy’s impressive progress since inception of the investment is a great example of Denham Sustainable Infrastructure’s value-add strategy to support industry-leading teams that deliver low-cost, sustainable power generation in high-growth economies.
The sale of these Rio Energy assets demonstrates Denham’s proven equity investment strategy, delivering sustainable growth alongside value creation in the middle market, and has positioned Rio Energy management for their next phase of expansion to deliver sustainable energy in Brazil.
We are proud of what Rio Energy management has achieved in partnership with Denham, and we are excited to see it now move on to its next stage of growth with Equinor.”
Marcos Meireles, CEO and co-founder of Rio Energy, said: “We are delighted with the success we have achieved in partnership with Denham, to develop critical power generation for Brazil, and ensure positive socioeconomic impacts locally.
We believe that now is the right time to move forward with Equinor, as we strive to deliver on our commitment to bring about a more sustainable future for Brazil.
Our current portfolio of nationally important infrastructure projects alongside a considerable pipeline will support the country’s renewable energy ambitions. We look forward to the next stage of this journey.”
Denham was advised by Sidley Austin LLP, Lefosse Advogados, Itaú BBA, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch Banco Múltiplo
FTI Consulting – Elizabeth Adams +44 7974 982331 or [email protected]
Rio Energy – Alexandre Nogueira [email protected]
About Denham Capital
Founded in 2004, Denham Capital is a global Energy Transition investment firm, having raised more than $12 billion of capital across multiple sectors. Denham’s Sustainable Infrastructure specializes in mid-market infrastructure equity and debt investments that are central to enabling a global energy transition. Having first invested in renewable power in 2007, Denham’s diverse investment team and portfolio companies have acquired, developed, built, and exited businesses across the globe for over 15 years. This “business building” focus is core to Denham’s belief that value is created for investors by acquiring and building sustainable infrastructure to help solve the $150tn 2050 net-zero challenge.
Denham Capital sponsors entrepreneurs, delivering the financial resources and industry expertise needed to create and grow successful infrastructure and resource businesses. We seek to establish long term partnerships with entrepreneurs and companies who share our vision for growth and value creation.
Our firm is built on a foundation of experience, fairness, economic rationale, flexibility and trust, and we bring these values into every opportunity we pursue. We believe our tactical familiarity within our industry sectors along with a disciplined approach centered around fairness and shared success make us an ideal partner.
For more information, visit www.denhamcapital.com/
About Rio Energy
Formed by Denham Capital in 2012, Rio Energy is committed to a sustainable future through the development, construction and operation of renewable energy generation projects with the highest quality standards, creating social and economic value for local communities and stakeholders. For more information, visit www.rioenergy.com.br/
 Includes funds now managed by Trace Capital Management LP.