Omnes, through its Capenergie 3 fund, and Bpifrance, through its France Investissement Energie Environnement (FIEE) fund, are jointly acquiring a minority stake in UNITe, an independent renewable energy producer.
Founded in 1985 by Hugues Albanel, UNITe, through its subsidiary Hydrowatt, is a renowned specialist in hydropower in France. The family group develops, builds and operates mainly mid-size hydropower plants, while also being active in the onshore wind, solar power and tidal energy sectors. UNITe currently owns a park with a total installed capacity of 77 MW across France’s regions. Its goal is to double its installed capacity. The company achieved a turnover of €26 million in 2017.
The aim of this deal is to enable the company to pursue its growth, based on a strategy of developing power plants in France and abroad. With 64 production sites (including 47 directly owned by the group), the group is one of the leading independent producers of 100% renewable electricity in France.
Hugues Albanel, CEO, UNITe, says: “Competition in the renewable energy sector is intensifying. We want to keep a strategy of independence while maintaining sustained development. The support of renowned financial investors will help us remain at the forefront of renewable energy, and above all, to scale up our core business, hydropower.”
Serge Savasta, Managing Partner, Omnes, comments: “UNITe is one of the pioneers of renewable energy in France with more than 30 years of expertise in mid-size hydropower. We have been following this company for many years. We share the firm’s conviction that energy produced in the heart of France’s territories, as close as possible to the end consumer, is a model for the future, creating wealth and jobs. We are proud to support this quality partner, the first hydropower investment of the Capenergie 3 fund.“
Jacques Solleau, Director of Bpifrance’s subsidiary funds, concludes: “This deal is at the heart of the FIEE fund’s strategy and demonstrates our commitment to promoting renewable energies. We are delighted to support a long-standing player in renewable energies in its future development projects and its strong ambition for growth in France and abroad.“