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Alternative Market Briefing

Soros' firm advises on SolarCity funding round

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

SolarCity, the California-based clean energy firm backed by Elon Musk, has completed a $305 million equity financing round. A private investment fund affiliated with Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd. and advised by Soros Fund Management LLC provided the equity investment in a portfolio of residential, commercial and industrial solar projects. The transaction also included a fully amortizing, 18-year loan that was syndicated to five high-quality institutional investors.

The syndication of a long-dated, fully-amortizing loan is believed to represent a 'first of its kind’ for distributed solar assets, according to a statement released by the company.

SolarCity held $5.2 billion in solar energy system assets on its balance sheet at the end of its most recently reported quarter on June 30. The portfolio of projects in the transaction announced today collectively represents 230 megawatts of solar generation capacity spread across 15 states. The vast majority of the installations were completed in 2015 and 2016.

SolarCity relies on equity financing and other funding sources in order to cover the upfront costs of solar panel installation. This is the second financing transaction the company has completed this year. The first was a $227 million cash infusion from John Hancock for solar projects.

SolarCity is expected to merge with Tesla later this year, if a shareholder vote due this month goes in favor of Tesla's offer.

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