"First Solar gets a foothold in Latin America with Chilean buy"
Bahamondez, Alvarez & Zegers advised the sellers in the sale of Solar Chile to First Solar. Solar Chile is a developer of photovoltaic power plants, which was owned by public-private institution Fundación Chile and a group of investors.
“First Solar gets a foothold in Latin America with Chilean buy”
Monday, 28 January 2013 (5 days ago) by Hugo Coelho
Chilean firm Claro y Cía and Squire Sanders in Washington, DC have helped First Solar acquire local solar power developer Solar Chile – the first foray into Latin America by the leading US manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels.
Chile’s Bahamondez, Alvarez & Zegers and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, though its New York office, advised the sellers, which include public-private institution Fundación Chile and a group of investors, on the deal that closed on 4 January for an undisclosed amount.
First Solar is one of the first prominent foreign names in the renewable energy industry to make an acquisition in Chile. “This transaction is a big step forward for the solar power industry in Chile”, says Bahamondez Alvarez partner Matías Zegers.
Most solar power developments in Chile are still in the early stages and Zegers says the fact that First Solar – one of the largest makers of photovoltaic modules in the world – is willing to invest by acquiring a developer and then announce its interest in developing future projects sends an important message to the local and international community. “We will see other deals like this one in the future and there is a good chance that other companies will use Chile as their regional platform to develop solar projects in other countries as well,” he predicts.
Solar energy production has been made a priority by the Chilean government as it struggles to meet country’s rising energy needs. In the first eleven months of 2012, more than 3.1 gigawatts of solar energy projects were approved.
Solar Chile has power projects totaling about 1.5 gigawatts in a number of regions in northern Chile, including the Atacama desert, which has offers some of the highest levels of solar irradiance in the world.
Counsel to Solar Chile
Bahamondez, Alvarez & Zegers
Partners Matías Zegers and Rodrigo Alvarez and associates Jose Tomás Ureta, Nicolás Vial and Gonzalo Rivera in Santiago
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Partner Nicholas Kronfeld and associate Francisco Nuñez in New York
Counsel to First Solar
Claro y Cía
Partners Luisa Nuñez and Nicolás Eyzaguirre and associates Alejandra Mejía, Joaquín Rodriguez, José Domingo Ilharreborde, Pablo Hamilton and Trinidad Cifuentes in Santiago
Partners Alvaro Mestre and Kevin Levey and associates Natham Santamaria and Purvin Patel in Washington, DC