Toucan Energy asset sale will reduce Thurrock Council debt

25 January 2024

The successful sale of Toucan Energy's solar portfolio will see Thurrock Council divesting a significant asset and allow the council to pay down hundreds of millions of pounds of debt.

Toucan Energy Holdings entered administration in November 2022, with Thurrock Council as the primary creditor.

It has today been announced that the portfolio of 53 solar farms has been acquired by Schroders Greencoat at a sale price of circa £700m. The sale will see a significant sum returned to Thurrock Council and is the single biggest contributor towards the council's financial recovery.

Cllr Graham Snell, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: "This marks an extremely important step in our financial recovery. The sale of these assets, and the income we will receive as a result, will allow us to pay down a significant proportion of our debt.

"I would like to thank administrators, Interpath Advisory, for everything they have done throughout the administration process. I'd also like to recognise the important role of our financial advisors on this issue. The diligent and expert work of our financial advisor, Camdor Global Advisors, and our legal advisor, Herbert Smith Freehills, has been critical to this outcome.

"There is much more for Thurrock Council to do as we seek to build on this to ensure we return the council to a financially sustainable position as soon as possible and continue to reduce the council's overall debt along the way. We are committed to taking this work forward and doing all we can to right the wrongs that have taken place in the past."

Cllr Andrew Jefferies, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: "A great deal of work has taken place behind the scenes to ensure that we could maximise our return on our investment in Toucan Energy. The process has been complex and time consuming but it was important to do all we could to achieve the best possible outcome under difficult circumstances."

"While it is good news that this asset has now been sold, there is no denying the scale of the challenge we face and the ongoing efforts that are required to stabilise the council in the years ahead. We are also still committed to doing everything possible to maximise our recovery."

Contracts on the sale were exchanged today. After meeting the company liabilities, the sale will reduce Thurrock's debt position by in excess of £500m. This significantly reduces the borrowing costs of the authority and marks a major step in meeting the Directions for the council set by the Secretary of State. More information about the amount realised by Thurrock Council will be shared as soon as possible following final payment.

To read the press release from Interpath Advisory, go to Interpath Advisory announces sale of c.£700m Toucan Energy portfolio to Schroders Greencoat - the largest operational solar portfolio traded in the UK,