Saudi fund takes stake in solar power

The Public Investment Fund (PIF), a Saudi Arabian sovereign investment vehicle, has splashed out on a 15.2% stake in Saudi-based Acwa Power, one of the region’s largest solar power developers.

The PIF already has an indirect share in the company through its Sanabil Direct Investments subsidiary. The latest transaction brings its combined shareholding to 25%.

According to Acwa, the investment will take the form of a capital increase that will be injected back into the company’s development plans.

In February, Acwa was awarded a $300 million contract to develop a 300 megawatt solar power plant in Sakaka. It plans to float a 30% stake in the company in an initial public offering in Riyadh before the end of the year.

The PIF’s investment is in line with the Saudi authorities’ Vision 2030 reform programme, part of which involves using the sovereign wealth fund to boost local companies and to diversify the economy away from oil.

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