Canadian Solar Inc. has signed an agreement to sell 30% of the preferred units of the Company's first Italian alternative investment fund ("CSFS Fund I") to Gardant Investor SGR ("Gardant"). As the investor of CSFS Fund I, Gardant is the asset management arm of the Gardant Group, specialized in alternative and complex investments with over EUR560 million assets under management.
CSFS Fund I is a closed-ended, real-estate reserved alternative investment fund managed by Finint Investments SGR, an asset management company with the goal of supporting the real economy, housing needs of the population and the green economy, through minibond, social and student housing and renewable energy funds. CSFS Fund I's perimeter includes a portfolio of seven solar power projects with a total capacity of 124.2 MWp, located across Italy's Sicily, Sardinia and Lazio regions. These projects are currently under construction and expected to reach commercial operation between March and December of 2023. Canadian Solar developed these projects and will provide the operations and maintenance services once they are completed.
Under this agreement, Gardant Investor SGR is also committed to cover 30% of the projects' construction capital expenditures. Canadian Solar targets to sell an additional 30% preferred units to a different financial investor while retaining 40% non-preferred units in the long run.
Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, commented, "We are pleased to have signed this important agreement with Gardant. This transaction demonstrates the recognition of our capability to develop, build and operate projects to the highest standards by a top-tier financial investor. CSFS Fund I was established to execute Canadian Solar's long-term asset ownership strategy in Italy, a growing market where Canadian Solar now has a total solar project pipeline exceeding 1.8 GWp and a storage pipeline exceeding 2 GWh. This strategy is part of our plan to transition from a pure project development model to a global independent power producer or IPP."
Guido Lombardo, CEO of Gardant Investor SGR, said, "We are proud to have entered into this agreement with Canadian Solar. This is a significant investment in a strategic sector for the country, as energy is transitioning towards sustainable sources and this investment is in line with our group's ESG objectives. Like all our hallmark transactions, we have brought our skills and professionalism in this project to offer a financial product that is innovative and in line with market expectations".
Mauro Sbroggiò, CEO of Finint Investment SGR, added, "We are proud to have conceived the CSFS - Fund I with Canadian Solar and to have supported Canadian Solar and Gardant Investor SGR in structuring the investment, benefiting from the experience of the management team of Finint Invesments SGR, which has been operating in the sector for 15 years with over 250 MWp of PV plants under management and 6 investment funds specialized in the renewable energy sector. This transaction, leveraging Canadian Solar's expertise as a global leading renewable company, provides Gardant Investor SGR who is interested in investing in the renewable energy sector with an excellent risk return profile."