JP Morgan Asset Management acquires solar developer Sonnedix

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen at the IMF headquarters building during the 2013 Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, April 18, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

LONDON (Reuters) - J.P. Morgan Asset Management has acquired nearly all of solar power developer Sonnedix Group, the companies said on Thursday.

In 2014, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Sonnedix formed a 50-50 joint venture called Sonnedix Power Holdings to explore opportunities in the global solar market.

“With the declining cost of implementation, coupled with the strong appetite for renewables as an asset class, the global Sonnedix platform is well positioned to continue its growth strategy,” Matthew LeBlanc, chief investment officer of OECD infrastructure equity investments at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said in a statement.

The asset manager has increased its stake to take over almost all of Sonnedix, with existing management retaining some shares. The firm declined to disclose the value of the deal.

Sonnedix develops, builds, owns and operates solar photovoltaic (PV) plants around the world. Over the past two years it has increased its operating capacity to 353 megawatts (MW) from 117 MW at installations in Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Puerto Rico, Chile, South Africa and Thailand.

It also has a pipeline of about 600 MW of projects in construction and pre-construction stages, mostly in Japan and Chile.

Since 2009, solar PV module prices have fallen by 80 percent as renewable energy capacity has grown and technologies have improved and are forecast to keep dropping.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by David Clarke