Saturday 25 February 2017

O'Connor plans to float Mainstream on Hong Kong market before 2014

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Eddie O'Connor's green energy firm Mainstream Renewable is planning to float in Hong Kong by 2014 as it ramps up its exposure to the booming Chinese market.

"We aim to float the company in three years' time, and more than likely on the Hong Kong market," O'Connor said last week. "If the story is fundamentally a Chinese story, the Hong Kong market will understand you a little more clearly," he told Bloomberg.

Hong Kong has become a hub for green energy IPOs recently, with both Huaneng Renewables Corp and Sinovel both listing there over the last year.

While Mainstream Renewable -- formerly chaired by ex-Anglo Irish Bank director Fintan Drury -- has been developing major windfarms off the UK and in Chile and North America, it has recently signed two bumper deals with two Chinese industrial giants.

Mainstream is examining a third deal with another Chinese firm. The company is also thought to be looking at raising up to €70m from investors this year.

A successful IPO in Hong Kong would mark another major payday for the former Bord na Mona chairman.

O'Connor bagged close to €50m from the sale of Airtricity to Scottish & Southern two years ago and invested the bulk of his money in setting up Mainstream renewable.

O'Connor is the latest Irish entrepreneur to tap into the explosive growth of certain parts of the Chinese economy. Ryanair's Michael O'Leary has signed up with Chinese aircraft manufacturer Comac, which may see the low-cost carrier buy up to 400 jets from the firm.

Recently it emerged that Liam Casey -- known as "Mr China" -- was considering floating his iPhone accessory group, PCH International, on Asian markets in coming months. The company could be worth more than €300m.

Sunday Indo Business

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