News

HOUSTON, TX — JULY 11, 2019 — Spruce Finance, a leading owner and operator of distributed generation solar and residential energy assets in the U.S., announced it has acquired a significant portfolio of residential assets. The acquisition reflects Spruce’s growth strategy, which is centered around continued expansion of its operating portfolio and servicing platform.

Spruce’s acquisition of the fund, consisting of 2,169 residential solar systems totaling 12.1 megawatts, was closed yesterday. The purchase brings Spruce’s portfolio of operational solar assets to 173 MW of primarily residential solar assets serving over 25,000 customers across 11 states. The transaction follows a recent $50 million equity investment from Spruce’s owner HPS Investment Partners, a leading global investment firm with over $48 billion of assets under management, as well as a $208 million debt financing completed earlier this year.

“This acquisition reflects Spruce’s strategy of expanding by acquiring seasoned solar portfolios and adding value through best-in-class servicing,” said Christian Fong, president and CEO of Spruce Finance. “As one of the largest privately owned residential solar companies, Spruce is able to execute quickly due to our experienced team and flexible capital. We’re actively deploying capital into similar opportunities in the residential and community solar space and continue to evaluate additional acquisitions.”

The residential solar assets will be serviced by Spruce’s independent subsidiary, Energy Service Experts (ESE), which provides asset management services to more than $1 billion of residential solar assets. Houston-based ESE manages both Spruce’s own assets and third-party owned portfolios. Spruce’s latest acquisition enables further expansion and efficiencies for ESE.

HOUSTON, TX — MAY 16, 2019 — Spruce Finance, a leading owner and operator of distributed generation solar and residential energy assets in the U.S., announced it has received a $50 million equity investment from its owner HPS Investment Partners, a leading global investment firm with more than $48 billion of assets under management. The follow-on investment demonstrates HPS’ commitment to Spruce and the solar asset class, providing support for continued growth through acquisition of solar assets.

The investment comes as Spruce, the second-largest privately held residential solar company in the U.S., is actively pursuing opportunities to add operational solar assets to its 150 MW portfolio. Spruce is looking beyond residential portfolios and is also evaluating community and commercial solar assets.

Tim Distler recently joined Spruce as vice president of corporate development to lead the company’s project finance and M&A activity. Distler has extensive experience in solar financing, having led a solar development and finance platform for LG Electronics. Prior to LG, he was head of project finance at RET Capital and also held roles at Recurrent Energy, PG&E and E.ON Climate & Renewables.

“The continued support of HPS, paired with Tim’s M&A expertise, ensures that we have both the capital and the capabilities needed to acquire attractive portfolios,” said Christian Fong, president and CEO of Spruce Finance, “The growth of our team’s expertise and our financial resources set us up for a strong growth trajectory.”

The equity funding follows Spruce’s recent closing of a $208 million senior secured debt financing of its residential solar assets. Its independent subsidiary, Energy Service Experts, provides asset management services to more than $1 billion of residential solar assets, including both Spruce’s own assets and third-party portfolios. In November of last year, Spruce announced that it was acquired by HPS Investment Partners.

HOUSTON, TX — MAY 1, 2019 — Spruce Finance, a leading owner and operator of distributed generation solar and residential energy assets in the U.S., announced today the closing of a $208 million senior secured financing of its residential solar assets. The debt financing gives Spruce access to competitively priced capital, further optimizing its capital structure and positioning it to grow in new solar markets.

Silicon Valley Bank and ING both acted as coordinating lead arrangers and joint book runners. Key Bank acted as a joint lead arranger and there were several other participating lenders. The firms were chosen due to their position as market leaders in financing residential solar assets. Spruce’s ability to access competitive debt capital markets at scale reflects its position as a trusted market leader in the solar industry. Spruce is actively pursuing acquisition opportunities to add to its 150MW portfolio.

“As the solar financing landscape continues to evolve, we see an opportunity to grow our portfolio while providing integrated services,” said Christian Fong, president and CEO of Spruce Finance, “Our strong financing and M&A capabilities, paired with our subsidiary Energy Service Experts’ servicing offerings puts us in a unique position in the industry.”

In November of last year, Spruce announced that it was acquired by HPS Investment Partners, a leading global investment firm with more than $48 billion of assets under management. Spruce’s independent subsidiary, Energy Service Experts, services more than $1 billion of residential accounts, providing financial asset management, consumer billing and collections, fleet management and homeowner support.

HOUSTON, TX — NOVEMBER 19, 2018 — Spruce Finance, a leading owner and operator of distributed generation solar and residential energy assets in the U.S., announced today that it has been acquired by HPS Investment Partners, a leading global investment firm with more than $46 billion of assets under management. Spruce will be headquartered in Houston and maintain its executive and M&A offices in San Francisco.

Spruce also announced that Christian Fong, the co-chairman of the board of directors since early 2017, has joined the company as president and CEO. Fong has built multiple billion-dollar real asset businesses and has an extensive executive, private equity and policy background in the clean power and energy sectors. He was co-founder of Renewable Energy Trust Capital, where he led the acquisition and development of more than $1 billion in wind and solar projects. A key participant in the establishment of the yieldco industry, Fong also serves in leadership roles on the boards of Terraform Power and Fong Management, LLC.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the transaction took place through Spruce Holdings, a new corporate entity owned by HPS Investment Partners.

HOUSTON, TX — MAY 21, 2018 — Spruce Finance Inc., a manager for residential solar and energy efficiency assets and software provider, announced the formation and spin-off of an independent residential servicing company, Energy Service Experts (ESE), to expand its current asset management, operations, and maintenance solutions for third-party residential asset portfolios across the U.S. ESE’s solutions help other companies better understand performance drivers, accelerate resolution of issues in a cost-effective manner, and maximize the value of their portfolios.

The residential solar and energy efficiency markets have grown exponentially over the past decade and are expected to continue growing well into the next decade. Consumer-level asset servicing is experiencing a unique shift within the energy industry as distributed energy resources (DERs) expand and converge with consumer finance product servicing. Current energy servicing offerings are not well equipped to meet consumer-level asset servicing needs. However, ESE’s team has been meeting this need within Spruce since 2011, and now ESE offers that experience and service to the industry as an independent company.

As the market grows, there is a greater need for service providers that can deliver results to support consumer, technical and financial needs. ESE is uniquely positioned to meet this need in the industry since it has the largest portfolio of non-captive systems, extensive servicing experience for both third-party-owned systems and loan portfolios, and it provides the full scope of services through a single point of accountability.

ESE currently provides services to over 70,000 accounts comprising over $1 billion in assets. Other than ESE, there are no companies in the residential asset servicing space with the experience to understand and manage consumer credit profiles and payment behavior, manage maintenance of distributed solar assets, directly address both consumer technical and account-related inquiries, and generate fund financial statements. ESE is currently carrying out all of these activities on behalf of multiple asset owners including global financial institutions, utilities, consumer lending companies, cleantech venture funds, asset operators, and investment firms.

Jonathan Roumel, formerly Spruce’s vice president of operations, has been appointed president and chief operating officer of ESE. A longtime energy industry executive with extensive solar and renewables experience, Jonathan previously held executive operations roles at NRG Home Solar and BP Alternative Energy. Jonathan also served as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he advised some of the largest global solar and renewable energy companies, and in risk management roles at Reliant Energy and Barclays Capital.

“I am excited to lead ESE as the energy industry shifts towards full-scope consumer servicing for distributed energy. We’ve set the stage for continued growth in the servicing sector as we maximize cash flow, minimize risk, and maintain a positive customer experience for asset owners,” said Roumel.