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Lone Star Funds has reportedly acquired a significant minority stake in Irish renewable energy group Gaelectric, as part of a debt restructuring deal with Gaelectric co-founder Eamonn McGrath, according to The Sunday Times. The deal was reached after Lone Star, as part of a larger debt portfolio, acquired debts owed by McGrath to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), the entity formed in 2011 by Ireland’s High Court-mandated merger of the nationalized Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society. Lone Star, a notorious vulture fund, now reportedly owns more than 8% of Gaelectric, one of the most active developers of wind farms, valued at more than €200 million, added The Times. The private equity firm’s practices in dealing with delinquent borrowers in the United States was the subject of a recent front-page article in The New York Times. In October 2015, Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, has opened an investigation into the rapid growth of Caliber Home Loans, a mortgage company owned by Lone Star Funds. Gaelectric was co-founded in 2004 by brothers Brendan McGrath, Group CEO, and Éamonn McGrath, Group Commercial Director, and Barry Gavon, Group COO. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with additional offices in Belfast, Manchester and Chicago. Eamonn McGrath, a former director of Aon Consulting who headed Gaelectric’s operations in Montana, USA, owned about a quarter of the company by 2012, according to The Irish Independent. Brendan McGrath and Barry Gavin each reportedly owned about 11 per cent. Michael Jacob, a former director at IBRC, is also director of Gaelectric Holdings. The company has more than 30 shareholders, including Peter Ledbetter — a former director of Permanent TSB. In July 2015 Gaelectric was reportedly set to complete a near-half a billion euro funding round by September, consisting of a mix of debt, equity and project finance in partnership with Nordeutsche Landesbank, Swedish investment company Proventus, UK-headquartered Bluebay Asset Management and others, according to the Independent. Instead, in September 2015 Gaelectric announced it had raised only €28 million in debt finance from Proventus Capital Partners II AB. This was the fourth time, since December 2012, that Proventus has been involved in funding Gaelectric. The Proventus deal followed Gaelectric’s extended facility with Nord/LB of £53.3 million on its 42 MW Dunbeg wind farm in Co Derry, according to The Irish Times. Overall, the Dublin company has reportedly raised in excess of €220 million in equity and debt financing since 2012. Ireland’s International Sustainability and Investment Centre (ISI Centre) has recently announced a partnership with the London-based Climate Bond Initiative (CBI), a not-for-profit organization that assists governments and companies fund climate-change solutions through sustainable investments. According to the two bodies, the partnership aims to accelerate Ireland’s development as an international hub for environmental finance. Green bonds have been a growing area of finance over the last decade, with the more than $40 billion worth of bonds and other financial instruments issued in 2015, said the Sunday Business Post. The green bond market has been on a dramatic rise lately, from $3 billion of bonds issued globally in 2012, to $11 billion in 2013, to $37 billion in 2014 – mostly by organizations like the European Investment Bank and the World Bank, and some national governments, added the Post. In January 2016, Gaelectric became the first Irish firm to raise €10 million though a green bond issued via CBI. Gaelectric has become a leading independent developer and operator of renewable energy projects in wind, bioenergy and solar, primarily in Ireland and Great Britain, where it has 174MW of wind generation connected to the grid. The company’s operations include onshore and offshore wind energy development, energy storage systems utilizing compressed air energy storage (CAES), battery and flywheel technologies, bioenergy solutions, solar energy installations, and URnergy — or ‘pro-sumer’ energy solutions — to seize opportunities in evolving energy markets. Gaelectric also began providing market and trading services to energy users and helping farmers and businesses select the right solutions in a rapidly changing energy market. Gaelectirc is further developing energy storage projects in the European mainland and the U.S., centered in Montana. The company employs approximately 83 people across engineering, project management, planning, electrical and networks, and corporate finance disciplines. Gaelectric has recently embarked on an aggressive acquisitions spree, as it aims to grow its capacity to over 400MW of wind energy by 2017, and up to 1,000MW by 2020. One megawatt is enough energy to power around 1000 homes. The company has also signed a deal with Elon Musk’s Tesla to work on a battery-storage project, and two weeks ago filed for planning permission for a massive compressed-air energy storage project in Co Antrim, said the Independent. “Gaelectric’s turnover more than doubled in its last financial year to €12.7m, but its operating loss widened to €7.3m, according to accounts recently filed for the business,” added the Independent. “Gaelectric’s net debt soared to €172m at the end of March last year from €68.7m a year earlier. It had net assets of €14m at the end of last March, compared to €26.4m at the end of the previous year.” Lone Star Funds is a leading private equity firm that invests globally in real estate, equity, credit and other financial assets. Since the establishment of its first fund in 1995, Lone Star has organized fifteen private equity funds with aggregate capital commitments totaling approximately $60 billion. Lone Star seeks investment opportunities in developed markets that have suffered an economic and/or banking crisis, resulting in a dislocation in asset pricing and value opportunities. Lone Star is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has offices in North America, Western Europe and East Asia. Lone Star was founded by John Grayken, the company’s chairman. From 1993 to 1995, prior to founding Lone Star, Grayken was chairman and CEO of Brazos Partners L.P., a joint venture between the Robert M. Bass Group and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), that resolved approximately 1,300 “bad bank” assets resulting from the U.S. savings and loan crisis in the early ‘90s. During this period, Brazos Advisors LLC was formed to provide asset-management and related services to Brazos Partners. Grayken subsequently raised institutional funds to continue investing in distressed assets, closing Brazos Fund LP in 1995 with approximately $250 million of capital commitments. Lone Star Opportunity Fund LP followed in 1996, with approximately $396 million of initial capital commitments. Brazos Advisors was then renamed Hudson Advisors LLC. After an expansion into Canada in 1995 and 1996, Grayken pursued the launch of a global platform for Lone Star in 1997. Since then, Lone Star has invested extensively in North America, Europe and East Asia. With the onset of the global financial crisis in 2007, Lone Star experienced an explosive growth.]]>