One of the leading independent UK renewable energy generators
Terra Firma built Infinis into one of the UK’s largest independent renewable energy platforms, with leading portfolios in landfill gas and onshore wind. In 2016, Infinis sold its landfill gas activities comprising over 300 MW generating capacity, and in 2017 sold the business’s onshore wind portfolio with its 343 MW generating capacity across 19 sites.
In 2003, Terra Firma acquired Waste Recycling Group (WRG), one of the leading waste management companies and the leading waste disposal operator in the UK. The business had 57 MW of installed capacity at acquisition, enough to power 76,000 homes. In 2004, the UK assets of Shanks, the third largest landfill operator in the UK, were acquired by Terra Firma and merged with WRG as part of its consolidation strategy.
In 2006, the landfill gas division was demerged from WRG to create a standalone business, Infinis, which retained the rights to the landfill gas produced from WRG’s landfill sites and used it as fuel to produce renewable energy for the UK electricity grid. Following this, Infinis expanded its landfill gas portfolio, diversified into onshore wind and small-scale hydro generation and overhauled its site operations with the establishment of leading in-house operational and maintenance capabilities.
Infinis invested heavily in the roll-out of its gas collection systems and engines, taking the landfill gas-generating capacity from 57 MW in 2003 to 296 MW in 2016. It also developed a significant onshore wind business, diversifying away from the original landfill gas focus. Its total onshore wind capacity is 343 MW and it continues to develop projects from an organic onshore wind development pipeline of up to 66 MW.
The diversification of its power generation portfolio, increase in scale and the geographic spread of its assets has reduced the operational risk of the business. In December 2009, Infinis completed a refinancing, providing the business with £275 million of proceeds from a five-year bond backed by the landfill gas assets. In 2013, this bond was itself refinanced with a £350 million six-year bond with lower interest charges.
In late 2013, Infinis refinanced its entire operational wind portfolio with a secured term loan facility, reducing the cost of debt by over 200 basis points. The transaction was named ‘European Onshore Wind Deal of the Year 2013’ by Project Finance Magazine.
The Infinis investment is fully realised. In November 2013, Infinis Energy plc successfully completed an IPO and its shares commenced unconditional trading on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Terra Firma (through its holding vehicle Monterey Capital II Sàrl) sold a 30 per cent stake to institutional and retail investors. At the end of 2015, Terra Firma (through its holding vehicle Monterey Capital II Sàrl) acquired the shares that it did not already own to regain full control of Infinis. In December 2016, Infinis sold its landfill gas activities to 3i Infrastructure plc, and in May 2017 the onshore wind business was sold to J.P Morgan Asset Management.