Aquila Capital, one of Europe’s independent alternative asset managers, has won the bid to acquire Småkraft AS, the largest operator and developer of small scale hydropower plants in Norway. The acquisition will be the third public hydro transaction for Aquila Capital in 18 months and will further expand the firm’s footprint in the hydropower sector.

The transaction includes Småkraft’s portfolio of 45 operating plants generating over 500GWh annually and a substantial development project portfolio led by a strong operational organisation. Småkraft AS is owned by four Norwegian utility companies: Statkraft (40%), Agder Energi (20%), BKK (20%) and Skagerak Energi (20%).

Oldrik Verloop, Co-Head of Hydropower at Aquila Capital said: "Since 2009, we have acquired over 100 hydro plants in Europe, giving us an edge in sourcing and securing hydropower opportunities for our institutional investors. As our investors aim to bring long term capital to support the expansion of renewables in the energy mix, the acquisition of Småkraft AS will consolidate our operations in Norway. It will make us the largest operator of small scale hydropower plants in Europe."

The company said that run-of-river hydropower plants in Europe are a complementary addition to many investment portfolios, as investors look to diversify their infrastructure holdings.

Roman Rosslenbroich, CEO of Aquila Capital concluded: "The transaction underlines Aquila Capital’s credentials as a leading financial investor in renewable energy and underpins our position as a recognised owner and operator of hydropower plants."
Aquila Capital is part of the Aquila Group, which has EUR 8B in assets under management and a track record of over EUR 2B in hydropower, photovoltaics and wind power.