Japanese investment firm Mitsui has invested €575 million in Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power, founded 14 years ago by Airtricity founder Eddie O’Connor.
r O’Connor resigned from the company last year after controversial comments about African “tribal companies”.
As part of the transaction, Mitsui will acquire a 27.5 percent stake in the company, which is now valued at around €2.1 billion.
The funding will be used to develop Mainstream’s global wind and solar power portfolio in the Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific, the companies said in a statement.
Mr O’Connor abruptly resigned from mainstream last year after telling the Dublin climate dialogues that Africa’s energy transition was being held back by a lack of education in “tribal societies”.
Mr O’Connor apologized for the remarks, saying they were “completely inappropriate and insensitive” and intended to “perpetuate stereotypes”.
The resignation came just weeks after he struck a deal that valued Mainstream at €1 billion. He is now focused on his offshore wind energy infrastructure company, Supernode.
Norwegian energy company Aker Horizons acquired a 75 percent stake in Mainstream in January 2021. With today’s investment, Aker’s stake will drop to 54.4 percent.
Mitsui is one of Japan’s leading trading and investment companies with around 45,000 employees in 63 countries.
Kristian Røkke, CEO of Aker Horizons and chairman of Mainstream, said Mitsui is “the perfect partner” to make Mainstream “a renewable energy major.”
“We see Mainstream as an integral part of Aker Horizons’ plans to develop mega-scale green industrial hubs, leveraging synergies between Mitsui, the Aker Horizons portfolio and other strategic partners.”
Kazumasa Nakai, Mitsui’s chief operating officer, said the company will leverage its “global business networks” and its “wide-ranging industrial capabilities, including deep expertise in the global energy sector” to fuel mainstream growth.
Mainstream has a 14 year track record of designing, constructing and operating onshore and offshore wind and solar farms around the world and has supplied assets for the world’s largest offshore wind project at Hornsea off the Yorkshire coast .
“Today’s transformative announcement reinforces mainstream leadership in the global race to net zero and enables nations to rapidly reduce their dependency on oil and gas imports through the large-scale deployment of renewable energy,” said Mary Quaney, chief executive of the mainstream group.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/japans-mitsui-takes-27pc-stake-in-airtricity-founders-former-firm-41482733.html Japan’s Mitsui takes a 27 percent stake in the Airtricity founder’s former company