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Energy Trader Axpo Buys French PV Developer Urbasolar

Swiss energy trader Axpo has boosted its PV footprint through the purchase of France’s Urbasolar. The full acquisition delivers the buyer a 350MW portfolio of built and under construction solar plants, as well as an additional 1GW at advanced development stages.

Urbasolar – a 160-strong firm with expected 2018/2019 turnover of €120 million – is said by Axpo to have chosen the Swiss buyer after an “extensive selection process” featuring “high-level” bidders.

Energy trading aside, Axpo claims to be France’s largest renewable energy producer. The firm is already active in the French market via a subsidiary in the city of Lyon it describes as a “gateway to renewables”, with services on origination, PPAs and others.

The Swiss Group already runs Wind power operations in France. Urbasolar, Axpo said in a statement, will enjoy the same “great autonomy” its wind subsidiary Volkswind has known. “The approach has proven its worth. Thanks to the model, we’re flexible, closer to our clients and will continue to succeed in the market,” said Christoph Sutter, who heads up Axpo’s New Energies unit.

With headquarters in Montpellier, Urbasolar was founded in 2006 and has since invested €590 million to develop some 500 plants worldwide. The assets are spread across Mexico, Tunisia, Senegal, Kenya, Kazakhstan and the Philippines, among other locations.

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