CORRESP
Table of Contents

Amendment No. 1 to confidential draft submission

As submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 11, 2014 pursuant to the

Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act

No. 333-            

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM S-1

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

SunEdison Yieldco, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware   4911   46-4780940

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation

or organization)

 

(Primary Standard Industrial

Classification Code Number)

  (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

12500 Baltimore Avenue

Beltsville, Maryland 20705

(443) 909-7200

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)

 

 

Sebastian Deschler, Esq.

General Counsel

SunEdison Yieldco, Inc.

12500 Baltimore Avenue

Beltsville, Maryland 20705

(443) 909-7200

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

 

 

Copies of all communications, including communications sent to agent for service, should be sent to:

 

Dennis M. Myers, P.C.   Kirk A. Davenport II
Kirkland & Ellis LLP   Latham & Watkins LLP
300 North LaSalle   885 Third Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60654   New York, New York 10022
(312) 862-2000   (212) 906-1200

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: As soon as practicable after this

Registration Statement becomes effective.

 

 

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box:  ¨

If this Form is filed to registered additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ¨

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ¨

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer  ¨

   Accelerated filer  ¨   Non-accelerated filer  x   Smaller reporting company  ¨
    

(Do not check if a

smaller reporting company)

 

The registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 or until this Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

Subject to Completion, Dated                     , 2014

             Shares

SunEdison Yieldco, Inc.

Class A Common Stock

 

 

This is an initial public offering of the Class A common stock of SunEdison Yieldco, Inc. All of the shares of Class A common stock are being sold by SunEdison Yieldco, Inc.

Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our Class A common stock. It is currently estimated that the initial public offering price per share will be between $         and $        . We intend to list our Class A common stock on                      under the symbol “            .”

We have two classes of common stock, Class A common stock and Class B common stock. Each share of Class A common stock entitles its holder to one vote on all matters presented to our stockholders generally. All of our Class B common stock will be held by SunEdison, Inc., or our “Sponsor,” or its controlled affiliates. Each share of Class B common stock entitles our Sponsor to 10 votes on all matters presented to our stockholders generally. Immediately following this offering, the holders of our Class A common stock will collectively hold 100% of the economic interests and     % of the voting power in us and our Sponsor will hold the remaining     % of the voting power in us. As a result, we will be a “controlled company” within the meaning of the corporate governance standards of                     . We are an “emerging growth company” as the term is used in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 and, as such, have elected to comply with certain reduced public company reporting requirements.

 

 

See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 30 to read about factors you should consider before buying shares of our Class A common stock.

 

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

 

     Per Share      Total  

Initial public offering price

   $                    $                

Underwriting discount

   $                    $                

Proceeds, before expenses, to us

   $                    $                

To the extent that the underwriters sell more than              shares of Class A common stock, the underwriters have the option to purchase up to an additional              shares from SunEdison Yieldco, Inc. at the initial public offering price less the underwriting discount.

The underwriters expect to deliver the shares against payment in New York, New York on                     , 2014.

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

 

 

Prospectus dated                     , 2014.


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

Summary

     1   

The Offering

     20   

Summary Historical and Pro Forma Financial Data

     25   

Risk Factors

     30   

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

     67   

Use of Proceeds

     68   

Capitalization

     69   

Dilution

     71   

Cash Dividend Policy

     72   

Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Financial Data

     84   

Selected Historical Combined Financial Data

     90   

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

     92   

Industry

     109   

Business

     117   

Management

     136   

Executive Officer Compensation

     141   

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management

     147   

Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions

     149   

Description of Certain Indebtedness

     161   

Description of Capital Stock

     165   

Shares Eligible for Future Sale

     171   

Material United States Federal Income Tax Consequences to Non-U.S. Holders

     173   

Underwriting (Conflicts of Interest)

     178   

Legal Matters

     183   

Experts

     183   

Where You Can Find More Information

     183   

Index to Financial Statements

     F-1   

We have not and the underwriters have not authorized anyone to provide you with any information other than that contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of us or to which we have referred you. We are offering to sell, and seeking offers to buy, shares of our Class A common stock only in jurisdictions where such offers and sales are permitted. The information in this prospectus or any free writing prospectus is accurate only as of its date, regardless of its time of delivery or the time of any sale of shares of our Class A common stock. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.

Until                    , 2014 (25 days after the date of this prospectus), all dealers that buy, sell or trade our Class A common stock, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This is in addition to the dealers’ obligation to deliver a prospectus when acting as underwriters and with respect to their unsold allotments or subscriptions.

Trademarks and Trade Names

We own or have rights to various trademarks, service marks and trade names that we use in connection with the operation of our business. This prospectus may also contain trademarks, service marks and trade names of SunEdison, Inc. and third parties, which are the property of their respective owners. Our use or display of third parties’ trademarks, service marks, trade names or products in this prospectus is not intended to, and should not be read to, imply a relationship with or endorsement or

 

i


Table of Contents

sponsorship of us. Solely for convenience, the trademarks, service marks and trade names referred to in this prospectus may appear without the ®, TM or SM symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the right of the applicable licensor to these trademarks, service marks and trade names. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Licensing Agreement” for a description of the licensing agreement pursuant to which we have licensed the right to use the SunEdison name and logo, subject to certain exceptions and limitations.

Industry and Market Data

This prospectus includes industry data and forecasts that we obtained from industry publications and surveys, public filings and internal company sources. Industry publications and surveys and forecasts generally state that the information contained therein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but there can be no assurance as to the accuracy or completeness of the included information. Statements as to our market position and market estimates are based on independent industry publications, government publications, third party forecasts, management’s estimates and assumptions about our markets and our internal research. While we are not aware of any misstatements regarding the market, industry or similar data presented herein, such data involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed under the headings “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward—Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in this prospectus.

As used in this prospectus, all references to watts (e.g., Megawatts, Gigawatts, MW, GW, etc.) refer to measurements of direct current, or “DC,” except where otherwise noted.

Certain Defined Terms

Unless the context provides otherwise, references herein to:

 

    “we,” “our,” “us,” “our company” and “Yieldco” refer to SunEdison Yieldco, Inc., together with, where applicable, its consolidated subsidiaries after giving effect to the Organizational Transactions (as defined herein);

 

    “Yield LLC” refers to SunEdison Yieldco, LLC;

 

    “Yield Operating LLC” refers to SunEdison Yieldco Operating, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yield LLC; and

 

    “SunEdison” and “Sponsor” refer to SunEdison, Inc. together with, where applicable, its consolidated subsidiaries.

See “Summary—Organizational Transactions” for more information regarding our ownership structure.

 

ii


Table of Contents

SUMMARY

The following summary highlights information contained elsewhere in this prospectus. It does not contain all the information you need to consider in making your investment decision. Before making an investment decision, you should read this entire prospectus carefully and should consider, among other things, the matters set forth under “Risk Factors,” “Selected Historical Combined Financial Data,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our and our predecessor’s financial statements and related notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this prospectus.

About Yieldco

We are a dividend growth-oriented company formed to own and operate contracted clean power generation assets acquired from SunEdison and unaffiliated third parties. Our business objective is to acquire high-quality contracted cash flows, primarily from owning solar generation assets serving utility, commercial and residential customers. Over time, we intend to acquire other clean power generation assets, including wind, natural gas, geothermal and hydro-electricity, as well as hybrid energy solutions that enable us to provide contracted power on a 24/7 basis. We believe the renewable power generation segment is growing more rapidly than other power generation segments due in part to the emergence in various energy markets of “grid parity,” which is the point at which renewable energy sources can generate electricity at a cost equal to or lower than prevailing electricity prices. We expect retail electricity prices to continue to rise due to increasing fossil fuel commodity prices, required investments in generation plants and transmission and distribution infrastructure and increasing regulatory costs. We believe we are well-positioned to capitalize on the growth in renewable power electricity generation, both through project originations and transfers from our Sponsor as well as through acquisitions from unaffiliated third parties. We will benefit from the development pipeline, asset management experience and relationships of our Sponsor, which, as of December 31, 2013, had a 3.4 GW pipeline of development stage solar projects and approximately 1.9 GW of self-developed and third party developed solar power generation assets under management. Our Sponsor will provide us with a dedicated management team that has significant experience in clean power generation. We believe we are well-positioned for substantial growth due to the high-quality, diversification and scale of our project portfolio, the long-term power purchase agreements, or “PPAs,” we have with creditworthy counterparties, our dedicated management team and our Sponsor’s project origination and asset management capabilities.

Our initial portfolio will consist of solar projects located in the United States, its unincorporated territories, Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile with total nameplate capacity of 409.3 MW. All of these projects will have long-term PPAs with creditworthy counterparties. We intend to rapidly expand and diversify our initial project portfolio by acquiring clean utility-scale and distributed generation assets located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile, each of which we expect will also have a long-term contracted PPA with a creditworthy counterparty. Growth in our project portfolio will be driven by our relationship with our Sponsor, including access to its project pipeline, and by our access to unaffiliated third party developers and owners of clean generation assets in our core markets.

Immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, we will enter into a project support agreement, or the “Support Agreement,” with our Sponsor, which will require our Sponsor to offer us additional qualifying projects from its development pipeline that are projected to generate an aggregate of at least $175.0 million of cash available for distribution during the first 12 months following their respective commercial operations date, or “Projected FTM CAFD,” by the end of 2016. We

 

 

1


Table of Contents

refer to these projects as the “Call Right Projects.” Specifically, the Support Agreement requires our Sponsor to offer us:

 

    from the consummation of this offering through the end of 2015, solar projects that are projected to generate an aggregate of at least $75.0 million of cash available for distribution during the first 12 months following their respective commercial operations date; and

 

    during calendar year 2016, solar projects that are projected to generate an aggregate of at least $100.0 million of cash available for distribution during the first 12 months following their respective commercial operations date.

If the amount of Projected FTM CAFD of the projects we acquire under the Support Agreement from the consummation of this offering through the end of 2015 is less than $75.0 million, or the amount of Projected FTM CAFD of the projects we acquire under the Support Agreement during 2016 is less than $100.0 million, our Sponsor has agreed that it will continue to offer us sufficient Call Right Projects until the total aggregate Projected FTM CAFD commitment has been satisfied. The Call Right Projects that are specifically identified in the Support Agreement currently have a total nameplate capacity of 1.8 GW. We believe the currently identified Call Right Projects will be sufficient to satisfy a majority of the Projected FTM CAFD committment for 2015 and a meaningful portion of the Projected FTM CAFD committment for 2016. The Support Agreement provides that our Sponsor is required to update the list of Call Right Projects with additional qualifying Call Right Projects from its pipeline until we have acquired projects under the Support Agreement that have the specified minimum amount of Projected FTM CAFD for each of the periods covered by the Support Agreement.

In addition, the Support Agreement grants us a right of first offer with respect to any solar projects (other than Call Right Projects) located in the United States and its unincorporated territories, Canada, the United Kingdom, Chile and certain other jurisdictions that our Sponsor decides to sell or otherwise transfer during the five-year period following the completion of this offering. We refer to these projects as the “ROFO Projects.” The Support Agreement does not identify the ROFO Projects since our Sponsor will not be obligated to sell any project that would constitute a ROFO Project. As a result, we do not know when, if ever, any ROFO Projects or other assets will be offered to us. In addition, in the event that our Sponsor elects to sell such assets, it will not be required to accept any offer we make to acquire any ROFO Project and, following the completion of good faith negotiations with us, our Sponsor may choose to sell such assets to a third party or not sell the assets at all.

We believe we are well-positioned to capitalize on additional growth opportunities in the clean energy industry. Demand for renewable energy among our customer segments is accelerating due to the emergence of grid parity in certain segments of our target markets, the lack of commodity price risk in renewable energy generation and strong political and social support. In addition, growth is driven by the ability to locate renewable energy generating assets at a customer site, which reduces our customers’ transmission and distribution costs. We believe that we are already capitalizing on the favorable growth dynamics in the clean energy industry, as illustrated by the following examples:

 

    Grid Parity.    We evaluate grid parity on an individual site or customer basis, taking into account numerous factors including the customer’s geographical location and solar availability, the terrain or roof orientation where the system will be located, cost to install, prevailing electricity rates and any demand or time-of-day use charges. One of our projects located in Chile provides approximately 100 MW of utility-scale power to a mining company under a 20-year PPA at a price below the current wholesale price of electricity in that region. We believe that additional grid parity opportunities will arise in other markets with growing energy demand, increasing power prices and favorable solar attributes.

 

 

2


Table of Contents
    Distributed Generation.    We own and operate a 74.1 MW distributed generation platform with a footprint in 9 states across the United States and Puerto Rico with commercial customers, who currently purchase electricity from us under long-term PPAs at prices at or below local retail electricity rates. These distributed generation projects reduce our customers’ transmission and distribution costs because they are located on the customer’s site. By bypassing the traditional electrical suppliers and transmission systems, distributed energy systems delink the customer’s electricity price from external factors such as volatile commodity prices and costs of the incumbent energy supplier. This makes it possible for distributed energy purchasers to buy electricity at predictable and stable prices over the duration of a long-term contract.

As our addressable market expands, we expect there will be significant additional opportunities for us to own clean energy generation assets and provide contracted, reliable power at competitive prices to the customer segments we serve, which we believe will sustain and enhance our future growth.

We intend to use a portion of the cash available for distribution, or “CAFD,” generated by our project portfolio to pay regular quarterly cash dividends to holders of our Class A common stock. Our initial quarterly dividend will be set at $             per share of Class A common stock, or $             per share on an annualized basis. We established our initial quarterly dividend level based upon a targeted payout ratio by Yield LLC of approximately     % of projected annual cash available for distribution. Our objective is to pay our Class A common stockholders a consistent and growing cash dividend that is sustainable on a long-term basis. Based on our forecast and the related assumptions and our intention to acquire assets with characteristics similar to those in our initial portfolio, we expect to grow our cash available for distribution and increase our quarterly cash dividends over time. Prospective investors should read “Cash Dividend Policy,” including our financial forecast and related assumptions, and “Risk Factors,” including the risks and uncertainties related to our forecasted results, completion of construction of projects and acquisition opportunities, in their entirety.

Yield LLC will distribute its CAFD to us as the sole holder of the Class A units and to our Sponsor as the sole holder of the Class B units pro rata, based on the number of units held. However, our Sponsor has agreed to forego any distributions on its Class B units dedicated with respect to periods ending on or prior to December 31, 2014. Our Sponsor has also agreed to a reduction of these distributions it would otherwise be entitled to receive declared with respect to periods ending on or after January 1, 2015 until the construction projects included in our initial portfolio (or agreed—to substitute projects) reach commercial operation date, or “COD.”. The amount of the reduction is based on the percentage of the projected cash available for distribution attributable to all of such construction projects that is associated with any such projects that have not achieved COD. We use the term “Construction Forbearance Period” to refer to the period of time in which our Sponsor has agreed to forego all or a portion of the distributions from Yield LLC it would otherwise be entitled to receive. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of Yield LLC—Voting and Economic Rights of Members.”

About our Sponsor

We believe our relationship with our Sponsor provides us with the opportunity to benefit from our Sponsor’s expertise in solar technology, project development, finance, management and operations. Our Sponsor is a solar industry leader with a well-established global brand and a long history of developing, financing, owning and operating solar energy projects. As of December 31, 2013, our Sponsor had a development pipeline of approximately 3.4 GW and solar power generation assets under management of approximately 1.9 GW, comprised of over 918 solar generation facilities across 12 countries. These projects were managed by a dedicated team using three renewable energy operation centers globally. As of December 31, 2013, our Sponsor had approximately 6,300 employees.

 

 

3


Table of Contents

Purpose of Yieldco

We intend to create value for holders of our Class A common stock by achieving the following objectives:

 

    acquiring long-term contracted cash flows from clean power generation assets with creditworthy counterparties;

 

    growing our business by acquiring contracted clean power generation assets from our Sponsor and third parties;

 

    capitalizing on the expected high growth in the clean power generation market, which is projected to require over $2.9 trillion of investment over the period from 2013 through 2020, of which $802 billion is expected to be invested in solar photovoltaic, or “PV,” generation assets;

 

    creating an attractive investment opportunity for dividend growth oriented investors;

 

    creating a leading global clean power generation asset platform, with the capability to increase the cash flow and value of the assets over time; and

 

    gaining access to a broad investor base with a more competitive source of equity capital that accelerates our long-term growth and acquisition strategy.

Our Initial Portfolio and the Call Right Projects

The following table provides an overview of the assets that will comprise our initial portfolio:

 

Project Names

  Location  

Commercial
Operation Date(1)

  Nameplate
Capacity
(MW)(2)
    # of
Sites
   

Offtake Agreements

 
         

Counterparty

  Counterparty
Credit
Rating(3)
  Remaining
Duration
of PPA
(Years)(4)
 

Distributed Generation:

             

U.S. Projects 2014

  U.S.   2Q14-4Q14     45.5        41     

Various utilities,

municipalities and commercial entities(5)

  Various     15-20   

U.S. Projects 2009-2013

  U.S.   2009-2013     15.2        73      Various commercial and governmental entities(5)   Various  

U.S. State Prison Projects

  U.S.   Q4 2013-Q3 2014     13.4        5      State of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation   AA-, Aa1     20   
     

 

 

   

 

 

       

Subtotal

    74.1        119         

Utility:

             

Regulus Solar

  U.S.   Q4 2014     81.9        1      Southern California Edison   BBB+, A3     20   

North Carolina Portfolio

  U.S.   Q4 2014     26.0        4      Duke Energy Progress   BBB+, Baa2     15   

Nellis

  U.S.   Q4 2007     14.1        1      U.S. Government (PPA); Nevada Power Company (SRECs)   AA+, Aaa,

BBB+, Baa2

    (6

Alamosa

  U.S.   Q4 2007     8.2        1      Xcel Energy   A-, A3     14   

SunE Perpetual Lindsay

  Canada   Q3 2014     15.2        1      Ontario Power Authority   A-, Aa1     20   

Stonehenge Q1

  U.K.   Q2 2014     41.5        3     

Statkraft, S.A.

  A-, Baa1     15   

Says Court

  U.K.   Q2 2014     19.8        1     

Statkraft, S.A.

  A-, Baa1     15   

Crucis Farm

  U.K.   Q2 2014     16.1        1     

Statkraft, S.A.

  A-, Baa1     15   

Norrington

  U.K.   Q2 2014     11.5        1     

Statkraft, S.A.

  A-, Baa1     15   

CAP(7)

  Chile   Q1 2014     101.0        1      Compañía Minera del Pacífico (CMP)   BBB-, N/A     20   
     

 

 

   

 

 

       

Subtotal

    335.2        15         
     

 

 

   

 

 

       

Total Initial Portfolio

    409.3        146         
     

 

 

   

 

 

       

 

(1) Represents actual or anticipated commercial operation date, as applicable, unless otherwise indicated.
(2) Nameplate capacity represents the maximum generating capacity at standard test conditions of a facility multiplied by our percentage ownership of that facility. Generating capacity may vary based on a variety of factors discussed elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

 

4


Table of Contents
(3) Reflects the counterparty’s or guarantor’s issuer credit ratings issued by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, or “S&P,” Moody’s Investors Service Inc., or “Moody’s.”
(4) Calculated as of December 31, 2013. For distributed generation projects, the number represents a weighted average (based on nameplate capacity) remaining duration.
(5) On a nameplate capacity basis, approximately     % of these projects have PPAs where the counterparty or parent of the counterparty has an investment grade rating.
(6) SREC contract for the Nellis project, which represents over 90% of the expected revenues, has remaining duration of approximately 13 years. The PPA of the Nellis project has an indefinite term subject to 1 year reauthorizations.
(7) The PPA counterparty has the right, under certain circumstances, to purchase up to 40% of the project equity from us pursuant to a predetermined purchase price formula. See “Business—Our Portfolio—Initial Portfolio—CAP Project.”

The projects in our initial portfolio, as well as the Call Right Projects discussed below, were selected because they are located in the geographic locations we intend to initially target. All of the projects in our initial portfolio have, and all of the Call Right Projects have or will have, long-term PPAs with creditworthy counterparties that we believe will provide sustainable and predictable cash flows to fund the regular quarterly cash dividends that we intend to pay to holders of our Class A common stock. The projects in our initial portfolio generally have already reached COD or are expected to reach COD prior to the end of 2014, while the Call Right Projects generally are not expected to reach COD until the fourth quarter of 2014 or later.

The Support Agreement has established an aggregate purchase price of $             million (subject to such adjustments as the parties may mutually agree) for the Call Right Projects set forth in the table below under the heading “Priced Call Right Projects.” This aggregate price was determined by good faith negotiations between us and our Sponsor. If we elect to purchase less than all of the priced Call Right Projects, we and our Sponsor will negotiate prices for individual projects.

We will have the right to acquire additional Call Right Projects set forth in the table below under the heading “Unpriced Call Right Projects” at prices that will be determined in the future. The price for each Call Right Project will be the fair market value. The Support Agreement provides that we will work with our Sponsor to mutually agree on the fair market value, but if we are unable to, we or our Sponsor will engage a third-party advisor to determine the fair market value. Until the price for a Call Right Asset is mutually agreed or determined by a third-party advisor, our Sponsor will have the right to offer that Call Right Project to third parties. However, the Support Agreement will provide that we will have the right to match any price offered by any third party and acquire such Call Right Project on the terms our Sponsor could obtain from the third party. After the price for a Call Right Asset has been agreed or determined and during the term of the Support Agreement, our Sponsor may not market, offer or sell that Call Right Asset to any third party without our consent. The Support Agreement will further provide that our Sponsor is required to offer us additional qualifying Call Right Projects from its pipeline on a quarterly basis until we have acquired projects under the Support Agreement that have the specified minimum amount of Projected FTM CAFD for each of the two periods covered by the Support Agreement. We cannot assure you that we will be offered these Call Right Projects on terms that are favorable to us. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Project Support Agreement” for additional information.

 

 

5


Table of Contents

The following table provides an overview of the Call Right Projects that are currently identified in the Support Agreement:

 

Project Names(1)

   Location    Commercial
Operation Date(2)
   Nameplate
Capacity
(MW)(3)
     # of Sites  

Priced Call Right Projects:

           

Ontario 2015 projects

   Canada    Q1 2015 - Q4 2015      13.2         22   

UK project #1

   U.K.    Q4 2014      49.9         1   

UK project #2

   U.K.    Q4 2014      13.0         1   

UK project #3

   U.K.    Q4 2014      11.5         1   

UK project #4

   U.K.    Q4 2014      8.7         1   

UK project #5

   U.K.    Q4 2014      8.0         1   

Chile 69MW project

   Chile    Q1 2015      69.0         1   

Ontario 2016 projects

   Canada    Q1 2016 - Q4 2016      10.8         18   

Chile 94MW project

   Chile    Q1 2016      94.0         1   
        

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Priced Call Right Projects

     278.1         47   

Unpriced Call Right Projects:

           

US DG 2H2014 & 2015 projects

   U.S.    Q3 2014 - Q4 2015      106.6         94   

US AP North Lake I

   U.S.    Q3 2015      26.0         1   

US Victorville

   U.S.    Q3 2015      13.0         1   

US Bluebird

   U.S.    Q2 2015      7.8         1   

US Western project #1

   U.S.    Q2 2016      156.0         1   

US Southwest project #1

   U.S.    Q2 2016      100.0         1   

US Southeast project #1

   U.S.    Q1 2016      65.0         1   

US Island project #1

   U.S.    Q2 2016      65.0         1   

US DG 2016 projects

   U.S.    Q1 2016 - Q4 2016      38.9         6   

US California project #1

   U.S.    Q2 2016      44.8         1   
        

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Unpriced Call Right Projects

     623.1         108   
        

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Call Right Projects

     901.2         155   
        

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total 2015 projects

     326.7         125   

Total 2016 projects

     574.5         30   

 

(1) Our Sponsor may remove a project from the Call Right Project list effective upon notice to us if, in its reasonable discretion, a project is unlikely to be successfully completed. In that case, the Sponsor will be required to replace such project with one or more additional reasonably equivalent projects that have a similar economic profile.
(2) Represents date of actual or anticipated COD, as applicable, unless otherwise indicated.
(3) Nameplate capacity represents the maximum generating capacity at standard test conditions of a facility multiplied by our percentage ownership of that facility. Generating capacity may vary based on a variety of factors discussed elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

 

6


Table of Contents

Cash Available for Distribution

The table below summarizes our estimated cash available for distribution per share of Class A common stock for the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015 based on our forecasts included elsewhere in this prospectus:

 

     Forecast for the 12 Months Ending
     June 30,
2015
   December 31,
2015
(in thousands, except per share and project data)    (unaudited)

Assumed operational projects throughout period

     

Cash available for distribution(1)

     

Cash available for distribution to holders of Class A shares

     

Class A shares at period end

     

Cash available for distribution per Class A share

     

 

(1) Cash available for distribution is not a measure of performance under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or “GAAP.” For a reconciliation of these forecasted metrics to their closest GAAP measure, see “Cash Dividend Policy—Estimate of Future Cash Available for Distribution” elsewhere in this prospectus.

We define cash available for distribution as net cash provided by operating activities of Yield LLC as adjusted for certain other cash flow items that we associate with our operations. It is a non-GAAP measure of our ability to generate cash to service our dividends. As calculated in this prospectus, cash available for distribution represents net cash provided by (used in) operating activities of Yield LLC (i) plus or minus changes in operating assets and liabilities, (ii) minus deposits into (or plus withdrawals from) restricted cash accounts required by project financing arrangements, (iii) minus cash distributions paid to non-controlling interests in our projects, if any, (iv) minus scheduled project-level and other debt service payments and repayments in accordance with the related borrowing arrangements, to the extent they are paid from operating cash flows during a period, (v) minus non-expansionary capital expenditures, if any, to the extent they are paid from operating cash flows during a period, and (vi) plus or minus other items as necessary to present the cash flows we deem representative of our core business operations. Our intention is to cause Yield LLC distribute a portion of the cash available for distribution generated by our project portfolio as dividends each quarter, after appropriate reserves for our working capital needs and the prudent conduct of our business. For a further discussion of cash available for distribution, including a reconciliation of net cash provided by (used in) operating activities to cash available for distribution and a discussion of its limitations, see footnote (2) under the heading “Summary Historical and Pro Forma Financial Data” elsewhere in this prospectus.

Industry Overview

We expect to benefit from continued high growth in clean energy across the utility, commercial and residential customer segments. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, over 1,418 GW of clean power generation projects are expected to be installed globally over the period from 2013 through 2020, requiring an aggregate investment of over $2.9 trillion across the utility, commercial and residential markets.

We believe the solar segment of the clean power generation industry is particularly attractive as declining solar costs and increasing grid electricity costs are accelerating the attainment of grid parity in various markets. Solar energy offers a compelling value proposition in markets that have reached grid parity because customers can typically purchase renewable energy for less than the cost of

 

 

7


Table of Contents

electricity generated by local utilities, pay little to no up-front cost and lock in long-term energy costs, insulating themselves from rising electricity rates. We expect a number of additional markets in our target geographies will reach grid parity in the coming years.

Solar energy benefits from highly predictable energy generation, the absence of fuel costs, proven technology and strong political and social support. In addition, solar generating assets are able to be located at a customer’s site which reduces the customer’s transmission and distribution costs. Finally, solar energy generation benefits from governmental, public and private support for the development of solar energy projects due to the environmentally friendly attributes of solar energy.

Our Business Strategy

Our primary business strategy is to increase the cash dividends we pay the holders of our Class A common stock over time. Our plan for executing this strategy includes the following:

Focus on long-term contracted clean power generation assets.    Our initial portfolio and any Call Right Projects that we acquire pursuant to the Support Agreement will have long-term PPAs with creditworthy counterparties. We intend to focus on owning and operating long-term contracted clean power generation assets with proven technologies, low operating risks and stable cash flows consistent with our initial portfolio. We believe industry trends will support significant growth opportunities for long-term contracted power in the clean power generation segment as various markets around the world reach grid parity.

Grow our business through acquisitions of contracted operating assets.    We intend to acquire additional contracted clean power generation assets from our Sponsor and unaffiliated third parties to increase our cash available for distribution. The Support Agreement provides us with (i) the option to acquire the identified Call Right Projects, which currently represent an aggregate nameplate capacity of approximately 1.8 GW, and additional projects from SunEdison’s development pipeline that will be designated as Call Right Projects under the Support Agreement to satisfy the aggregate FTM CAFD commitment of $175.0 million and (ii) a right of first offer on the ROFO Projects. In addition, we expect to have significant opportunities to acquire other clean power generation assets from third party developers, independent power producers and financial investors. We believe our knowledge of the market, third party relationships, operating expertise and access to capital will provide us with a competitive advantage in acquiring new assets.

Attractive asset class.    We intend to initially focus on the solar energy segment because we believe solar is currently the fastest growing segment of the clean power generation industry in which to own assets and deploy long-term capital due to the predictability of solar power cash flows. In particular, we believe the solar segment is attractive because there is no associated fuel cost risk and solar technology has become highly reliable, requires low operational and maintenance expenditures and a low level of interaction from managers, and solar projects have an expected life which can exceed 30 to 40 years. In addition, solar energy generation facilities generally operate under long-term PPAs with terms of up to 20 years.

Focus on core markets with favorable investment attributes.    We intend to focus on growing our portfolio through investments in markets with (i) creditworthy PPA counterparties, (ii) high clean energy demand growth rates, (iii) low political risk, stable market structures and well-established legal systems, (iv) grid parity or the potential to reach grid parity in the near term and (v) favorable government policies to encourage renewable energy projects. We believe there will be ample opportunities to acquire high-quality contracted power generation assets in markets with these

 

 

8


Table of Contents

attributes. While our current focus is on solar generation assets in the United States and its unincorporated territories, Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile, we will selectively consider acquisitions of contracted clean generation sources in other countries.

Maintain sound financial practices.    We intend to maintain our commitment to disciplined financial analysis and a balanced capital structure. Our financial practices will include (i) a risk and credit policy focused on transacting with creditworthy counterparties, (ii) a financing policy focused on achieving an optimal capital structure through various capital formation alternatives to minimize interest rate and refinancing risks, and (iii) a dividend policy that is based on distributing the cash available for distribution generated by our project portfolio (after deducting appropriate reserves for our working capital needs and the prudent conduct of our business). Our initial dividend was established based on our targeted payout ratio of approximately     % of projected cash available for distribution. See “Cash Dividend Policy.”

Our Competitive Strengths

We believe our key competitive strengths include:

Scale and geographic diversity.    Our initial portfolio and the Call Right Projects will provide us with significant diversification in terms of market segment, counterparty and geography. These projects, in the aggregate, represent              MW of nameplate capacity, which are expected to consist of              MW of nameplate capacity from utility projects and              MW of nameplate capacity of commercial, industrial and government customers. Our diversification reduces our operating risk profile and our reliance on any single market or segment. We believe our scale and geographic diversity improve our business development opportunities through enhanced industry relationships, reputation and understanding of regional power market dynamics.

Stable high-quality cash flows.    Our initial portfolio of projects, together with the Call Right Projects and third party projects that we acquire, will provide us with a stable, predictable cash flow profile. We sell the electricity generated by our projects under long-term PPAs with creditworthy counterparties. As of December 31, 2013, the weighted average remaining contracted life of our PPAs was      years. All of our projects have highly predictable operating costs, in large part due to solar facilities having no fuel cost and reliable technology. Finally, based on our initial portfolio of projects, we do not expect to pay significant federal income taxes in the near term.

Newly constructed portfolio.    We benefit from a portfolio of relatively newly constructed assets, with most of the projects in our initial portfolio having achieved COD within the past three years. All of the Call Right Projects are expected to achieve COD by the end of 2016. The projects in our initial portfolio and the Call Right Projects utilize proven and reliable technologies provided by leading equipment manufacturers and, as a result, we expect to achieve high generation availability and predictable maintenance capital expenditures.

 

 

9


Table of Contents

Relationship with SunEdison.    We believe our relationship with our Sponsor provides us with significant benefits, including the following:

 

    Strong asset development and acquisition track record.    Over the last five calendar years, our Sponsor has constructed or acquired solar power generation assets with an aggregate nameplate capacity of 1.4 GW and is currently constructing additional solar power generation assets expected to have an aggregate nameplate capacity of approximately 504 MW. Our Sponsor has been one of the top five developers and installers of solar energy facilities in the world in each of the past four years. In addition, our Sponsor had a 3.4 GW pipeline of development stage solar projects as of December 31, 2013. Our Sponsor’s operating history demonstrates its organic project development capabilities and its ability to work with third party developers and asset owners in our target markets. We believe our Sponsor’s relationships, knowledge and employees will facilitate our ability to acquire operating projects from our Sponsor and unaffiliated third-parties in our target markets.

 

    Project financing experience.    We believe our Sponsor has demonstrated a successful track record of sourcing long duration capital to fund project acquisitions, development and construction. Since 2005, our Sponsor has raised approximately $5 billion in long-term non-recourse project financing for hundreds of projects. We expect that we will realize significant benefits from our Sponsor’s financing and structuring expertise as well as its relationships with financial institutions and other providers of capital.

 

    Management and operations expertise.    We will have access to the significant resources of our Sponsor to support the growth strategy of our business. As of December 31, 2013, our Sponsor had over 1.9 GW of projects under management across 12 countries. Approximately 16% of these projects are third party power generation facilities, which demonstrates our Sponsor’s collaboration with multiple solar developers and owners. These projects utilize 30 different module types and inverters from 12 different manufacturers. In addition, our Sponsor maintains three renewable energy operation centers to service assets under management. Our Sponsor’s operational and management experience helps ensure that our facilities will be monitored and maintained to maximize their cash generation.

Dedicated management team.    Under the Management Services Agreement, our Sponsor has committed to provide us with a dedicated team of professionals to serve as our executive officers and other key officers. Our officers have considerable experience in developing, acquiring and operating clean power generation assets, with an average of over nine years of experience in the sector. For example, our Chief Executive Officer has served as the President of SunEdison’s solar energy business since November 2009. Our management team will also have access to the other significant management resources of our Sponsor to support the operational, financial, legal and regulatory aspects of our business.

Agreements with our Sponsor

We will enter into the following agreements with our Sponsor immediately prior to the consummation of this offering. For a more comprehensive discussion of these agreements, see “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions.” For a discussion of the risks related to our relationship with our Sponsor, see “Risk Factors—Risks Related to our Relationship with our Sponsor.”

 

 

10


Table of Contents

Project Support Agreement.    Pursuant to the Support Agreement, our Sponsor will provide us with the right, but not the obligation, to purchase for cash certain solar projects from its project pipeline with aggregate Projected FTM CAFD of at least $175.0 million by the end of 2016. Specifically, the Support Agreement requires our Sponsor to offer us:

 

    from the consummation of this offering through the end of 2015, solar projects that have Projected FTM CAFD of at least $75.0 million; and

 

    during calendar year 2016, solar projects that have Projected FTM CAFD of at least $100.0 million.

If the amount of Projected FTM CAFD of the projects we acquire under the Support Agreement from the consummation of this offering through the end of 2015 is less than $75.0 million, or the amount of Projected FTM CAFD of the projects we acquire under the Support Agreement during 2016 is less than $100.0 million, our Sponsor has agreed that it will continue to offer us sufficient Call Right Projects until the total aggregate Projected FTM CAFD commitment has been satisfied. We have agreed to pay cash for each Call Right Project that we acquire, unless we and our Sponsor otherwise mutually agree to stock consideration. The Support Agreement provides that we will work with our Sponsor to mutually agree on the fair market value of each Call Right Project within a reasonable time after it is added to the list of identified Call Right Projects. If we are unable to agree on the fair market value, we or our Sponsor will engage a third-party advisor to determine the fair market value. Until the price for a Call Right Asset is mutually agreed or determined by a third-party advisor, in the event our Sponsor receives a bona fide offer for a Call Right Project from a third party, our Sponsor must give us notice of such offer in reasonable detail and we will have the right to acquire such project on terms substantially similar to those our Sponsor could have obtained from such third party, but at a price no less than the price specified in the third-party offer. After the price for a Call Right Asset has been agreed or determined and during the term of the Support Agreement, our Sponsor may not market, offer or sell that Call Right Asset to any third party without our consent.

The Support Agreement provides that our Sponsor is required to offer us additional qualifying Call Right Projects from its pipeline on a quarterly basis until we have acquired projects under the Support Agreement that have the specified minimum amount of Projected FTM CAFD for each of the periods covered by the Support Agreement. These additional Call Right Projects must satisfy certain criteria. In addition, our Sponsor may remove a project from the Call Right Project list if, in its reasonable discretion, the project is unlikely to be successfully completed, effective upon notice to us. In that case, the Sponsor will be required to replace such project with one or more additional reasonably equivalent projects that have a similar economic profile. Generally, we may exercise our call right with respect to any Call Right Project identified in the Support Agreement at any time until 30 days prior to COD for that Call Right Project. If we exercise our option to purchase a project under the Support Agreement, our Sponsor is required to sell us that project on or about the date of its COD unless we agree to a different date.

In addition, our Sponsor has agreed to grant us a right of first offer on any of the ROFO Projects that it determines to sell or otherwise transfer during the five-year period following the completion of this offering. Under the terms of the Support Agreement, our Sponsor will agree to negotiate with us in good faith, for a period of 30 days, to reach an agreement with respect to any proposed sale of a ROFO Project for which we have exercised our right of first offer before it may sell or otherwise transfer such ROFO Project to a third party. However, our Sponsor will not be obligated to sell any of the ROFO Projects and, as a result, we do not know when, if ever, any ROFO Projects will be offered to us. In addition, in the event that our Sponsor elects to sell ROFO Projects, it will not be required to accept any offer we make and may choose to sell the assets to a third party or not sell the assets at all.

 

 

11


Table of Contents

Under our related party transaction policy, the prior approval of our Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committee will be required for each material transaction with our Sponsor under the Support Agreement. See “—Conflicts of Interest” below.

Management Services Agreement.    Pursuant to the Management Services Agreement, our Sponsor will provide or arrange for the provision of operational, management and administrative services to us and our subsidiaries, and we will pay our Sponsor a base management fee as follows: (i) no fee for the remainder of 2014, (ii) 2.5% of Yield LLC’s CAFD in 2015 and 2016 (not to exceed $4.0 million in 2015 or $7.0 million in 2016), and (iii) an amount equal to our Sponsor’s actual cost for providing services pursuant to the terms of the Management Services Agreement in 2017 and thereafter. We and our Sponsor may agree to adjust the management fee as a result of a change in the scope of services provided under the Management Services Agreement. In addition, in the event that Yieldco, Yield LLC, Yield Operating or any of our subsidiaries refers a solar power development project to our Sponsor prior to our Sponsor’s independent identification of such opportunity, and our Sponsor thereafter develops such solar power project, our Sponsor will pay us an amount equal to $40,000 per MW multiplied by the nameplate capacity, determined as of the COD of such solar power project (not to exceed $30.0 million in the aggregate in any calendar year). The prior approval of our Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committee will be required for each material transaction with our Sponsor under the Management Services Agreement unless such transaction is expressly contemplated by the agreement.

Interest Payment Agreement. Yield LLC will enter into the Interest Payment Agreement with our Sponsor, pursuant to which our Sponsor will agree to pay all of the interest on our new $             million term loan facility, or the “Term Loan,” through                     , 2017.

Operating Agreements.    Most of our projects are built pursuant to engineering, procurement and construction, or “EPC,” contracts, and will be operated and maintained pursuant to operations and maintenance, or “O&M,” contracts with affiliates of our Sponsor. Under the EPC contracts, the relevant Sponsor affiliates provide liquidated damages to cover delays in project completions, as well as market standard warranties, including performance ratio guaranties, designed to ensure the expected level of electricity generation is achieved, for periods that range between two and five years after project completion depending on the relevant market. The O&M contracts cover comprehensive preventive and corrective maintenance services for a fee as defined in such agreement. The relevant Sponsor affiliates also provide generation availability guarantees of generally 99%, designed to ensure the expected level of power plant operation is achieved, and related liquidated damage obligations. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Metrics—Operating Metrics—Generation Availability” for a description of “generation availability.”

Conflicts of Interest.    While our relationship with our Sponsor and its subsidiaries is a significant strength, it is also a source of potential conflicts. As discussed above, our Sponsor and its affiliates will provide important services to us, including assisting with our day-to-day management and providing individuals who are dedicated to serve as our executive officers and other key officers. Our management team, including our officers, will remain employed by and, in certain cases, will continue to serve as an executive officer or other senior officer of, SunEdison or its affiliates. Our officers will also generally continue to have economic interests in our Sponsor following this offering. However, pursuant to the Management Services Agreement, our officers will be dedicated to running our business. These same officers may help our board of directors and, in particular, our Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committee evaluate potential acquisition opportunities presented by our Sponsor under the Support Agreement. As a result of their employment by, and economic interest in, our Sponsor, our officers may be conflicted when advising our board or Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committee or otherwise participating in the negotiation or approval of such transactions.

 

 

12


Table of Contents

Notwithstanding the significance of the services to be rendered by our Sponsor or its designated affiliates on our behalf in accordance with the terms of the Management Services Agreement or of the assets which we may elect to acquire from our Sponsor in accordance with the terms of the Support Agreement or otherwise, our Sponsor will not owe fiduciary duties to us or our stockholders and will have significant discretion in allocating acquisition opportunities (except with respect to the Call Right Projects and ROFO Projects) to us or to itself or third parties. Under the Management Services Agreement, our Sponsor will not be prohibited from acquiring operating assets of the kind that we seek to acquire. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to our Relationship with our Sponsor.”

Any material transaction between us and our Sponsor (including the proposed acquisition of any assets pursuant to the Support Agreement) will be subject to our related party transaction policy, which will require prior approval of such transaction by our Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committee. That committee will be comprised of at least three directors, each of whom will satisfy the requirements for independence under applicable laws and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the “SEC,” and the rules of the stock exchange on which our shares will be listed. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to our Relationship with our Sponsor” and “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Procedures for Review, Approval and Ratification of Related-Person Transactions; Conflicts of Interest” and “Management—Committees of the Board of Directors—Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committee” for a discussion of the risks associated with our organizational and ownership structure and corporate strategy for mitigating such risks.

Organizational Transactions

Formation Transactions

SunEdison Yieldco, Inc. is a Delaware corporation formed on January 15, 2014 by SunEdison to serve as the issuer of the Class A common stock offered hereby. In connection with the formation of Yieldco, certain employees of SunEdison who will perform services for us were granted equity incentive awards under the SunEdison Yieldco, Inc. 2014 Second Amended and Restated Long-Term Incentive Plan, or the “2014 Incentive Plan,” in the form of restricted shares of Yieldco. See “Executive Officer Compensation—Equity Incentive Awards.”

SunEdison Yieldco, LLC is a Delaware limited liability company formed on February 14, 2014 as a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of SunEdison to own and operate through its subsidiaries a portfolio of contracted clean power generation assets acquired from SunEdison and unaffiliated third parties. Following its formation and prior to the completion of this offering: (i) SunEdison and its subsidiaries will contribute to Yield LLC the solar energy projects developed by SunEdison that are included in our initial portfolio, which we refer to as the “Initial Asset Transfers,” and (ii) Yield LLC will complete the acquisition of the solar energy projects developed by third parties that are included in our initial portfolio, which we refer to as the “Initial Project Acquisitions.” On March 28, 2014, Yield LLC entered into a new $250.0 million term loan bridge facility, or the “Bridge Facility,” to provide funding for the Initial Project Acquisitions. The aggregate purchase price for the Initial Project Acquisitions was approximately $             million, all of which is payable in cash.

We collectively refer to these transactions as the “Formation Transactions.”

 

 

13


Table of Contents

Offering Transactions

In connection with and, in certain cases, concurrently with the completion of, this offering, based on an assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the range listed on the cover of this prospectus:

 

    we will amend and restate Yieldco’s certificate of incorporation to provide for both Class A common stock and Class B common stock, at which time SunEdison’s interest in Yieldco ‘s common equity will be converted into shares of Class B common stock and interests in Yield LLC (as described below) and the restricted shares issued under the 2014 Incentive Plan will automatically convert into a number of shares of Class A common stock that represent an aggregate     % economic interest in Yieldco, subject to certain adjustments to prevent dilution;

 

    we will amend Yield LLC’s operating agreement to provide for Class A units and Class B units and to convert SunEdison’s interest in Yieldco’s common equity into Class B units and appoint Yieldco as the sole managing member of Yield LLC;

 

    Yieldco will issue              shares of its Class A common stock to the purchasers in this offering (or              shares if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock) in exchange for net proceeds of approximately $             million (or approximately $             million if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock), after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions but before offering expenses (all of which will be paid by SunEdison);

 

    Yieldco will use all of the net proceeds from this offering to purchase newly issued Class A units of Yield LLC, representing     % of Yield LLC’s outstanding membership units (or         % if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock);

 

    Yield LLC will use such proceeds to repay certain project-level indebtedness, to repay a portion of the Bridge Facility and for general corporate purposes, which may include future acquisitions of solar assets from SunEdison pursuant to the Support Agreement or from third parties;

 

    Yield Operating LLC will enter into a new $             million revolving credit facility, or the “Revolver,” which will remain undrawn at the completion of this offering, and the $             million Term Loan to refinance any remaining borrowings under the Bridge Facility; and

 

    Yieldco will enter into various agreements with our Sponsor, including the Support Agreement, the Management Services Agreement and the Interest Payment Agreement.

We collectively refer to the foregoing transactions as the “Offering Transactions” and, together with the Formation Transactions, as the “Organizational Transactions.”

Immediately following the completion of this offering:

 

    Yieldco will be a holding company and the sole material asset of Yieldco will be the Class A units of Yield LLC;

 

    Yieldco will be the sole managing member of Yield LLC and will control the business and affairs of Yield LLC and its subsidiaries;

 

    Yieldco will hold              Class A units of Yield LLC representing approximately     % of Yield LLC’s total outstanding membership units (or     %, if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock);

 

 

14


Table of Contents
    SunEdison, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, will own              Class B units of Yield LLC representing approximately     % of Yield LLC’s total outstanding membership units (or     %, if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock);

 

    SunEdison, through the ownership by a subsidiary of our Class B common stock, will have     % of the combined voting power of all of our common stock and, through such subsidiary’s ownership of Class B units of Yield LLC, will hold, subject to the limitation on distributions to holders of Class B units during the Construction Forbearance Period, approximately     % of the economic interest in our business (or     % of the combined voting power of our common stock and a     % economic interest in our business if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock);

 

    the purchasers in this offering will own              shares of our Class A common stock, representing     % of the combined voting power of all of our common stock and, through our ownership of Class A units of Yield LLC, approximately     % of the economic interest in our business (or     % of the combined voting power of our common stock and a     % economic interest if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock).

SunEdison may exchange its Class B units in Yield LLC, together with a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock, for shares of our Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis, subject to equitable adjustments for stock splits, stock dividends and reclassifications in accordance with the terms of the Exchange Agreement. When SunEdison exchanges a Class B unit of Yield LLC for a share of our Class A common stock: (i) we will issue SunEdison a share of our Class A common stock in exchange for the Class B unit; (ii) the Class B unit so exchanged will automatically convert into a Class A unit of Yield LLC issued to us; and (iii) we will automatically redeem and cancel a corresponding share of our Class B common stock. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of Yield LLC—Exchange Agreement.”

 

 

15


Table of Contents

The following chart sets forth summarizes certain relevant aspects of our ownership structure and principal indebtedness after giving effect to this offering:

 

LOGO

 

(1) Our Sponsor’s economic interest is subject to certain limitation on distributions to holders of Class B units during the Construction Forbearance Period. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of Yield LLC—Voting and Economic Rights of Members.”

 

(2) We expect Yield Operating LLC to enter into the Term Loan concurrently with the completion of this offering and use borrowings therefrom to refinance any remaining borrowings under the Bridge Facility.

 

(3) Concurrently with the completion of this offering, Yield Operating LLC plans to enter into the Revolver, which will provide for a revolving line of credit of $             million. The closing of the Revolver will be conditioned upon consummation of this offering, the implementation of our Organizational Transactions and other customary closing conditions.

 

(4) For additional information regarding our project-level indebtedness, see “Description of Certain Indebtedness—Project-Level Financing Arrangements.”

 

 

16


Table of Contents

Material Tax Considerations

If we make a distribution from current or accumulated earnings and profits, as computed for United States federal income tax purposes, such distribution will generally be taxable to holders of our Class A common stock in the current period as ordinary income for United States federal income tax purposes, eligible under current law for the lower tax rates applicable to qualified dividend income of non-corporate taxpayers. If a distribution exceeds our current and accumulated earnings and profits as computed for United States federal income tax purposes, such excess distribution will constitute a non-taxable return of capital to the extent of a holder’s United States federal income tax basis in our Class A common stock and will result in a reduction of such basis. The portion of any such excess distribution that exceeds a holder’s basis in our Class A common stock will be taxed as capital gain. While we expect that a portion of our distributions to holders of our Class A common stock may exceed our current and accumulated earnings and profits as computed for United States federal income tax purposes and therefore constitute a non-taxable return of capital to the extent of a holder’s basis in our Class A common stock, no assurance can be given that this will occur. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Taxation—Distributions to holders of our Class A common stock may be taxable as dividends.” Upon the sale of our Class A common stock, the holder generally will recognize capital gain or loss measured by the difference between the sale proceeds received by the holder and the holder’s basis in the Class A common stock sold, adjusted to reflect prior distributions that were treated as return of capital. Based on our current portfolio of assets that we expect will benefit from an accelerated depreciation schedule, we expect to generate net operating losses, or “NOLs,” and NOL carryforwards that we can utilize to offset future taxable income. As such, we do not anticipate paying significant United States federal income taxes for a period of approximately five years. If you are a non-U.S. investor, please read “Material United States Federal Income Tax Consequences to Non-U.S. Holders” for a more complete discussion of the expected material United States federal income tax consequences of owning and disposing of shares of our Class A common stock.

Certain Risk Factors

We are subject to a number of risks, including risks that may prevent us from achieving our business objectives or may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects. You should carefully consider these risks, including the risks discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors,” before investing in our Class A common stock.

Risks related to our business include, among others:

 

    counterparties to our PPAs may not fulfill their obligations, which could result in a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows;

 

    a portion of the revenues under certain of the PPAs for our solar energy projects are subject to price adjustments after a period of time; if the market price of electricity decreases and we are otherwise unable to negotiate more favorable pricing terms, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows may be materially and adversely affected;

 

    certain of the PPAs for power generation projects in our initial portfolio and that we may acquire in the future will contain provisions that allow the offtake purchaser to terminate or buyout a portion of the project upon the occurrence of certain events; if these provisions are exercised and we are unable to enter into a PPA on similar terms, in the case of PPA termination, or find suitable replacement projects to invest in, in the case of a buyout, our cash available for distribution could materially decline; and

 

 

17


Table of Contents
    the growth of our business depends on locating and acquiring interests in additional attractive clean energy projects at favorable prices from our Sponsor and unaffiliated third parties.

Risks related to our relationship with our Sponsor include, among others:

 

    our Sponsor will be our controlling stockholder and will exercise substantial influence over Yieldco, and we are highly dependent on our Sponsor;

 

    we may not be able to consummate future acquisitions from our Sponsor; and

 

    our organizational and ownership structure may create significant conflicts of interest that may be resolved in a manner that is not in our best interests or the best interests of holders of our Class A common stock and that may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Risks related to an investment in the Class A common stock offered in this offering include, among others:

 

    we may not be able to continue paying comparable or growing cash dividends to holders of our Class A common stock in the future;

 

    the assumptions underlying the forecasts presented elsewhere in this prospectus are inherently uncertain and subject to significant business, economic, financial, regulatory and competitive risks that could cause our actual cash available for distribution to differ materially from our forecasts;

 

    we are a holding company and our only material asset after completion of this offering will be our interest in Yield LLC, and we are accordingly dependent upon distributions from Yield LLC and its subsidiaries to pay dividends and taxes and other expenses;

 

    as a result of our Sponsor holding all of our Class B common stock (each share of which entitles our Sponsor to 10 votes on matters presented to our stockholders generally), our Sponsor will control a majority of the vote on all matters submitted to a vote of our stockholders for the foreseeable future following this offering; and

 

    we are an “emerging growth company” and have elected in this prospectus, and may elect in future SEC filings, to comply with reduced public company reporting requirements, which could make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors

Corporate Information

Our principal executive offices are located at 12500 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705. Our telephone number is (443) 909-7200.

JOBS Act

As a company with less than $1.0 billion in revenue during our last fiscal year, we qualify as an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or the “JOBS Act.” Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the “Securities Act,” for complying with new or revised accounting standards. Thus, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies.

 

 

18


Table of Contents

An emerging growth company may also take advantage of reduced reporting requirements that are otherwise applicable to public companies. These provisions include, but are not limited to:

 

    not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended, or the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act;”

 

    reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports, proxy statements and registration statements; and

 

    exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved.

We may take advantage of these provisions until the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the first sale of our common equity securities pursuant to an effective registration statement under the Securities Act, which such fifth anniversary will occur in 2019. However, if certain events occur prior to the end of such five-year period, including if we become a “large accelerated filer,” our annual gross revenues exceed $1.0 billion or we issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt in any three-year period, we will cease to be an emerging growth company prior to the end of such five-year period.

We have elected to take advantage of certain of the reduced disclosure obligations regarding financial statements and executive compensation in this prospectus and may elect to take advantage of other reduced burdens in future filings. As a result, the information that we provide to our stockholders may be different than you might receive from other public reporting companies in which you hold equity interests.

In addition, Section 107(b) of the JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. In other words, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We are choosing to “opt in” to such extended transition period election under Section 107(b). Therefore we are electing to delay adoption of new or revised accounting standards, and as a result, we may choose to not comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for non-emerging growth companies. As a result of such election, our financial statements may not be comparable to the financial statements of other public companies.

 

 

19


Table of Contents

THE OFFERING

 

Shares of Class A common stock
offered by us

  


             shares of our Class A common stock.

Shares of Class A common stock
outstanding after this offering

  


             shares of our Class A common stock (or              shares, if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock).

Shares of Class B common stock
outstanding after this offering

  


             shares of our Class B common stock will be beneficially owned by our Sponsor.

Class A units and Class B units of
Yield LLC outstanding after this
offering

  



             Class A units of Yield LLC              and              Class B units of Yield LLC (or              Class A units and              Class B units of Yield LLC if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock).

Option to purchase additional
shares of our Class A common
stock

  



We have granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional              shares of our Class A common stock, at the initial public offering price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions, within 30 days of the date of this prospectus. We will use the proceeds from the exercise of such option to purchase additional Class A units of Yield LLC.

Use of proceeds

   Assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock, we estimate that the net proceeds to us from this offering will be approximately $              million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions. If the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock, we estimate that the net proceeds to us from this offering will be approximately $              million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions.
   We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to acquire newly issued Class A units of Yield LLC, representing     % (or     % if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock) of Yield LLC’s outstanding membership units after this offering. Yieldco will not retain any net proceeds from this offering.
   Yield LLC will use the net proceeds from this offering, together with borrowings under the Term Loan, to repay certain project-level indebtedness, to repay the Bridge Facility and for general corporate purposes, which may include future acquisitions of solar assets from SunEdison pursuant to the Support Agreement or from unaffiliated third parties. As of the date of this prospectus, we have not identified any specific

 

 

20


Table of Contents
   potential future acquisitions other than under the Support Agreement discussed elsewhere in this prospectus. Goldman, Sachs & Co. and/or its affiliates may receive more than 5% of the net proceeds of this offering upon repayment of the Bridge Facility. Accordingly, this offering is being made in compliance with the requirements of Rule 5121 of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., or “FINRA.” See “Underwriting (Conflicts of Interest)—Conflicts of Interest.” Our Sponsor will not receive any of the net proceeds or other consideration in connection with this offering, other than the Class B common stock and Class B units issued to SunEdison in the Offering Transactions (as described in ‘‘—Organizational Transactions—Offering Transactions’’), or, as discussed above, if Yield LLC elects in the future to use a portion of the net proceeds to fund acquisitions from our Sponsor.

Voting rights

  

Each share of our Class A common stock will entitle its holder to one vote on all matters to be voted on by stockholders generally.

 

All of our Class B common stock will be held by our Sponsor or its controlled affiliates. Each share of our Class B common stock will entitle our Sponsor to 10 votes on matters presented to our stockholders generally. Our Sponsor, as the holder of our Class B common stock, will control a majority of the vote on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders for the foreseeable future following this offering.

   Holders of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock will vote together as a single class on all matters presented to stockholders for their vote or approval, except as otherwise required by law. See “Description of Capital Stock.”

Economic interest

   Immediately following this offering, the purchasers in this offering will own in the aggregate a     % economic interest in our business through our ownership of Class A units of Yield LLC, and our Sponsor will own, subject to the limitation on distributions to holders of Class B units during the Construction Forbearance Period, a     % economic interest in our business through its ownership of Class B units of Yield LLC (or a     % economic interest and a     % economic interest, respectively, if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock).

Exchange and registration rights

   Each Class B unit of Yield LLC, together with a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock, will be exchangeable for a share of our Class A common stock, subject to equitable adjustments for stock splits, stock dividends and reclassifications in accordance with the terms of the Exchange Agreement. When our Sponsor surrenders both Class B units of Yield LLC and a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock for a share of our Class A common stock, we will automatically cancel the Class B units and the share of Class B common stock and Yield LLC or its controlled affiliates will issue additional Class A units to us. When our Sponsor exchanges

 

 

21


Table of Contents
   Class B units of Yield LLC for shares of our Class A common stock, we will automatically redeem and cancel a corresponding number of shares of our Class B common stock and the Class B units will automatically convert into Class A units of Yield LLC issued to us. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of Yield LLC—Exchange Agreement.”
   Pursuant to a registration rights agreement that we will enter into with our Sponsor, we will agree to file a registration statement for the sale of the shares of our Class A common stock that are issuable upon exchange of Class B units of Yield LLC upon request and cause that registration statement to be declared effective by the SEC as soon as practicable thereafter. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions— Registration Rights Agreement” for a description of the timing and manner limitations on resales of these shares of our Class A common stock.

Cash dividends:

  

Class A common stock

   Upon completion of this offering, we intend to pay a regular quarterly dividend to holders of our Class A common stock. Our initial quarterly dividend will be set at $              per share of Class A common stock ($              per share on an annualized basis), which amount may be changed in the future without advance notice. Our ability to pay the regular quarterly dividend is subject to various restrictions and other factors described in more detail under the caption “Cash Dividend Policy.”
   We expect to pay a quarterly dividend on or about the     th day following the expiration of each fiscal quarter to holders of our Class A common stock of record on or about the     th day following the last day of such fiscal quarter. With respect to our first dividend payable on                     , 2014, we intend to pay a pro-rated dividend (calculated from the completion date of this offering through and including                     , 2014) of $             per share of Class A common stock.
  

We believe, based on our financial forecast and related assumptions included in “Cash Dividend Policy—Estimated Cash Available for Distribution for the Twelve Months Ending June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015” and our acquisition strategy, that we will generate sufficient cash available for distribution to support our initial quarterly dividend of $              per share of Class A common stock ($              per share on an annualized basis). However, we do not have a legal obligation to declare or pay dividends at such initial quarterly dividend level or at all. See “Cash Dividend Policy.”

 

Class B common stock

   Holders of our Class B common stock do not have any right to receive cash dividends. See “Description of Capital Stock—Class B Common Stock—Dividend and Liquidation Rights.” However, holders of our Class B common stock will also hold

 

 

22


Table of Contents
   Class B units issued by Yield LLC. As a result of holding Class B units, subject to certain limitations during the Construction Forbearance Period, such holders will be entitled to share in distributions from Yield LLC to its unit holders (including distributions to us as holder of the Class A units of Yield LLC) pro rata based on the number of units held. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of Yield LLC—Voting and Economic Rights of Members.”

Material federal income tax
consequences to non-U.S.
holders

  



For a discussion of the material federal income tax consequences that may be relevant to prospective investors who are non-U.S. holders, please read “Material United States Federal Income Tax Consequences to Non-U.S. Holders.”

FERC-related purchase
restrictions

  


Certain purchasers of Class A common stock in this offering may be required to receive approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or “FERC,” before acquiring an amount of our Class A common stock that would cause such purchaser and its associate or affiliate companies in the aggregate to hold a large enough voting interest to convey direct or indirect “control” over any of Yield LLC’s public utility subsidiaries or be deemed to have, directly or indirectly, merged or consolidated with Yield LLC or any of its electric utility company subsidiaries. See “Business—Regulatory Matters.”

Reserved share program

   At our request, the underwriters have reserved up to     % of the shares of our Class A common stock offered hereby for sale at the initial public offering price to our directors, officers and certain other persons who are associated with us, through a reserved share program. If these persons purchase reserved shares, it will reduce the number of shares available for sale to the general public. Any reserved shares that are not purchased pursuant to the reserved share program will be offered by the underwriters to the general public on the same terms as the other shares offered hereby. See “Underwriting (Conflicts of Interest).”

Conflicts of interest

   Goldman, Sachs & Co. and/or its affiliates acted as the arranger of, and is the administrative agent and a lender under, our Bridge Facility. As described in “Use of Proceeds,” a portion of the net proceeds of this offering will be used to repay amounts outstanding under our Bridge Facility. Because an affiliate of Goldman, Sachs & Co. will receive more than 5% of the net proceeds of this offering due to the repayment of amounts outstanding under our Bridge Facility, and Goldman, Sachs & Co. is deemed to have a conflict of interest under FINRA Rule 5121. Accordingly, this offering will be conducted in compliance with FINRA Rule 5121, which requires, among other things, that a “qualified independent underwriter” participate in

 

 

23


Table of Contents
   the preparation of, and exercise the usual standards of “due diligence” with respect to, the registration statement and this prospectus.                      has agreed to act as the qualified independent underwriter for this offering and to undertake the legal responsibilities and liabilities of an underwriter under the Securities Act specifically including those inherent in Section 11 of the Securities Act.

Stock exchange listing

   We have applied for the listing of our Class A common stock on              under the symbol “             .”

Controlled company exemption

   After consummation of this offering, we will be considered a “controlled company” for the purposes of the             listing requirements and intend to rely upon the “controlled company” exemption with respect to having a majority of independent directors, a Compensation Committee and Nominating Committee consisting entirely of independent directors and annual performance evaluations of such committee.

The number of shares of our common stock to be outstanding after this offering is based on              shares of our Class A common stock and              shares of our Class B common stock to be outstanding immediately after this offering based on an initial public offering price of $              per share, the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, and excludes (i)              shares of our Class A common stock which may be issued upon the exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock and the corresponding number of Class A units of Yield LLC that we would purchase from Yield LLC with the net proceeds therefrom; (ii)              shares of our Class A common stock reserved for issuance upon the subsequent exchange of Class B units of Yield LLC that will be outstanding immediately after this offering; and (iii)              shares of our Class A common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2014 Incentive Plan.

Except as otherwise indicated, all information in this prospectus also assumes:

 

    we will file our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and adopt our amended and restated bylaws immediately prior to the consummation of this offering;

 

    we will cause Yield LLC to amend and restate its operating agreement immediately prior to the consummation of this offering; and

 

    an initial public offering price of $              per share of Class A common stock, which is the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus.

 

 

24


Table of Contents

SUMMARY HISTORICAL AND PRO FORMA FINANCIAL DATA

The following table shows summary historical and pro forma financial data at the dates and for the periods indicated. The summary historical financial data as of and for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013 have been derived from the audited combined consolidated financial statements of our accounting predecessor included elsewhere in this prospectus. The historical combined consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013 are intended to represent the financial results of SunEdison’s contracted renewable energy assets that will be contributed to Yield LLC as part of the Initial Asset Transfers.

The summary unaudited pro forma financial data have been derived by the application of pro forma adjustments to the historical combined consolidated financial statements of our accounting predecessor included elsewhere in this prospectus. The summary unaudited pro forma statement of operations data for the year ended December 31, 2013 give effect to the Organizational Transactions (as described under “Summary—Organizational Transactions”), including the use of the estimated net proceeds from this offering, as if they had occurred on January 1, 2013. The summary unaudited pro forma balance sheet data as of December 31, 2013 give effect to the Organizational Transactions, this offering and the use of the estimated net proceeds therefrom, as if each had occurred on such date. See “Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated Financial Data” for additional information. As described in “Summary—Organizational Transactions,” Yieldco will own approximately     % of Yield LLC’s outstanding membership interests after consummation of the Organizational Transactions.

The following table should be read together with, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, the historical combined consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. Among other things, the historical combined consolidated financial statements include more detailed information regarding the basis of presentation for the information in the following table. The table should also be read together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Management Services Agreement.”

Our summary unaudited pro forma financial data are presented for informational purposes only. The pro forma adjustments are based upon available information and certain assumptions that we believe are reasonable. Our summary unaudited pro forma financial information does not purport to represent what our results of operations or financial position would have been if we operated as a public company during the periods presented and may not be indicative of our future performance. We have not made any pro forma adjustments relating to the historical operations of our acquisitions of the Stonehenge or Norrington projects that are part of our initial portfolio, as such projects have not yet commenced commercial operations and are not otherwise material as compared to our historical financial statements.

Except as noted below, the financial data of SunEdison Yieldco, Inc. has not been presented in this prospectus as it is a newly incorporated entity, had no business transactions or activities and had no assets or liabilities during the periods presented in this section. An audited balance sheet of SunEdison Yieldco, Inc. as of its date of incorporation on January 15, 2014 reflecting its nominal capitalization is included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

 

25


Table of Contents
           Pro Forma  
     For the Year Ended
December 31,
    For the Year
Ended
December 31,
2013
 
(in thousands except operational data)    2012     2013    

Statement of Operations Data:

      

Operating revenue

   $ 10,327      $ 10,324      $                

Operating costs and expenses:

      

Cost of operations

     25        67     

Cost of operations-affiliate

     437        505     

General and administrative

     668        665     

General and administrative-affiliate

     2,676        2,684     

Depreciation, amortization and accretion

     2,743        2,931     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating costs and expenses

     6,549        6,852     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Operating income

     3,778        3,472     

Other (income) expense:

      

Interest expense, net

     2,745        2,616     

Gain on foreign currency exchange

     —          (1,037  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total other expense

     2,745        1,579     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income before income tax expense (benefit)

     1,033        1,893     

Income tax expense (benefit)

     (691     834     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income

   $ 1,724      $ 1,059      $     

Less net income attributable to non-controlling interest

     —          —       
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income attributable to Yieldco.

   $ 1,724      $ 1,059      $     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Other Financial Data:

      

Adjusted EBITDA(1)

   $ 6,521      $ 7,440      $     

Cash available for distribution(2)

     2,388        2,954     

Cash flow data:

      

Net cash provided by (used in):

      

Operating activities

     3,333        (10,245  

Investing activities

     (2,205     (209,979  

Financing activities

     (1,125     220,224     

Balance Sheet Data (at period end):

      

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 3      $ 3      $     

Restricted cash

     4,415        60,892     

Property and equipment, net

     73,016        327,028     

Total assets

     103,232        461,418     

Total liabilities

     78,807        457,464     

Total equity

     24,425        3,954     

Operating Data (for the period):

      

MWh sold(3)

     37,140        37,193     

 

(1) Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. This measurement is not recognized in accordance with GAAP and should not be viewed as an alternative to GAAP measures of performance. The presentation of Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items.

 

 

26


Table of Contents

We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income plus interest expense, net, income taxes, depreciation and accretion, after eliminating the impact of non-recurring items and other factors that we do not consider indicative of future operating performance. We believe Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors in evaluating our operating performance because:

 

    securities analysts and other interested parties use such calculations as a measure of financial performance and debt service capabilities; and

 

    it is used by our management for internal planning purposes, including aspects of our consolidated operating budget and capital expenditures.

Adjusted EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations include:

 

    it does not reflect our cash expenditures or future requirements for capital expenditures or contractual commitments;

 

    it does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, working capital;

 

    it does not reflect significant interest expense or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments on our outstanding debt;

 

    it does not reflect payments made or future requirements for income taxes;

 

    it reflects adjustments for factors that we do not consider indicative of future performance, even though we may, in the future, incur expenses similar to the adjustments reflected in our calculation of Adjusted EBITDA in this prospectus; and

 

    although depreciation and accretion are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and the liabilities being accreted will often have to be replaced or paid in the future and Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect cash requirements for such replacements or payments.

Investors are encouraged to evaluate each adjustment and the reasons we consider it appropriate for supplemental analysis.

The following table presents a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA:

 

            Pro Forma  
     For the Year Ended
December 31,
     For the Year
Ended
December 31,

2013
 
(in thousands)    2012     2013     

Net income

   $ 1,724      $ 1,059       $                

Add:

       

Depreciation, amortization and accretion

     2,743        2,931      

Interest expense, net

     2,745        2,616      

Income tax (benefit) expense

     (691     834      
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

   $ 6,521      $ 7,440       $     
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(2)

Cash available for distribution represents net cash provided by (used in) operating activities of Yield LLC (i) plus or minus changes in operating assets and liabilities, (ii) minus deposits into (or plus withdrawals from) restricted cash accounts required by project financing arrangements, (iii) minus cash distributions paid to non-controlling interests in our projects, if any, (iv) minus scheduled project-level and other debt service payments in accordance with the related borrowing arrangements, to the extent they are paid from operating cash flows during a period, (v) minus non-expansionary capital expenditures, if any, to the extent they are paid from operating cash flows during a period,

 

 

27


Table of Contents
  and (vi) plus or minus other items as necessary to present the cash flows we deem representative of our core business operations. Our intention is to cause Yield LLC distribute a portion of the cash available for distribution generated by our project portfolio as dividends each quarter, after appropriate reserves for our working capital needs and the prudent conduct of our business.

We disclose cash available for distribution because management recognizes that it will be used as a supplemental measure by investors and analysts to evaluate our liquidity. However, cash available for distribution has limitations as an analytical tool because it excludes depreciation and accretion, does not capture the level of capital expenditures necessary to maintain the operating performance of our projects, is not reduced for principal payments on our project indebtedness except to the extent they are paid from operating cash flows during a period, and excludes the effect of certain other cash flow items, all of which could have a material effect on our financial condition and results from operations. Cash available for distribution is a non-GAAP measure and should not be considered an alternative to net income, net cash provided by (used in) operating activities or any other liquidity measure determined in accordance with GAAP, nor is it indicative of funds available to fund our cash needs. In addition, our calculation of cash available for distribution is not necessarily comparable to cash available for distribution as calculated by other companies. Investors should not rely on these measures as a substitute for any GAAP measure, including net income (loss) and net cash provided by (used in) operating activities. For a discussion of the risks and uncertainties with respect to our forecasted cash available for distribution see “Risk Factors—Risks Inherent in an Investment in Us—We may not be able to continue paying comparable or growing cash dividends to holders of our Class A common stock in the future,” “—The assumptions underlying the forecasts presented elsewhere in this prospectus are inherently uncertain and subject to significant business, economic, financial, regulatory and competitive risks that could cause our actual cash available for distribution to differ materially from our forecasts,” and “—We are a holding company and our only material asset after completion of this offering will be our interest in Yield LLC, and we are accordingly dependent upon distributions from Yield LLC and its subsidiaries to pay dividends and taxes and other expenses.”

 

 

28


Table of Contents

The most directly comparable GAAP measure to cash available for distribution is net cash provided by (used in) operating activities. The following table is a reconciliation of our net cash provided by (used in) operating activities to cash available for distribution for the periods presented:

 

     For the Year Ended December 31,     Pro Forma  
(in thousands)    2012     2013     For the Year Ended
December 31, 2013
 

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities

   $ 3,333      $ (10,245   $                

Changes in operating assets and liabilities

     (416     13,824     

Cash distributions to non-controlling interests

     —          —       

Scheduled project-level and other debt service payments

     (529     (625  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Estimated cash available for distribution

   $ 2,388      $ 2,954      $     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(3) For any period presented, MWh sold represents the amount of electricity measured in MWh that our projects generated and sold.

 

 

29


Table of Contents

RISK FACTORS

This offering and an investment in our Class A common stock involve a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below, together with the financial and other information contained in this prospectus, before you decide to purchase shares of our Class A common stock. If any of the following risks actually occurs, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. As a result, the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline and you could lose all or part of your investment in our Class A common stock.

Risks Related to our Business

Counterparties to our PPAs may not fulfill their obligations, which could result in a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

All of the electric power generated by our initial portfolio of projects will be sold under long-term PPAs with public utilities or commercial, industrial or government end-users. We expect the Call Right Projects will also have long-term PPAs. If, for any reason, any of the purchasers of power under these contracts are unable or unwilling to fulfill their related contractual obligations or if they refuse to accept delivery of power delivered thereunder or if they otherwise terminate such agreements prior to the expiration thereof, our assets, liabilities, business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected. Furthermore, to the extent any of our power purchasers are, or are controlled by, governmental entities, our facilities may be subject to legislative or other political action that may impair their contractual performance.

A portion of the revenues under of the PPAs for the U.K. projects included in our initial portfolio for our solar energy projects are subject to price adjustments after a period of time. If the market price of electricity decreases and we are otherwise unable to negotiate more favorable pricing terms, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows may be materially and adversely affected.

The PPAs for the U.K. projects included in our initial portfolio will have fixed-pricing for a specified period of time (typically four years), after which a portion of the contracted revenue is subject to an adjustment based on the current market price. While the PPAs with price adjustments specify a minimum price, the minimum price is significantly below the initial fixed price. A decrease in the market price of electricity, including lower prices for traditional fossil fuels, could result in a decrease in the pricing under such contracts if the fixed-price period has expired, unless we are able to negotiate more favorable pricing terms. We can offer no assurances that we will be able to negotiate more favorable pricing terms if the price of electricity decreases. Any decrease in the price payable to us under our PPAs could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Certain of the PPAs for power generation projects in our initial portfolio and that we may acquire in the future will contain provisions that allow the offtake purchaser to terminate or buy out a portion of the project upon the occurrence of certain events. If these provisions are exercised and we are unable to enter into a PPA on similar terms, in the case of PPA termination, or find suitable replacement projects to invest in, in the case of a buyout, our cash available for distribution could materially decline.

Certain of the PPAs associated with projects we may acquire allow the offtake purchaser to purchase a portion of the applicable project from us. For example, in connection with the PPA for the CAP project, the off-taker has, under certain circumstances, the right to purchase up to 40% of the project equity from us pursuant to a predetermined purchase price formula. If we were to acquire the CAP project and the purchaser subsequently exercises its right to purchase a portion of the project, we

 

30


Table of Contents

would need to reinvest the proceeds from the sale in one or more projects with similar economic attributes in order to maintain our cash available for distribution. Additionally, under the PPAs for the U.S. Distributed Generation Projects, off-takers have the option to either (i) purchase the applicable solar photovoltaic system, typically five to six years after the COD under such PPA and for a purchase price equal to the greater of a value specified in the contract or the fair market value of the project determined at the time of exercise of the purchase option or (ii) pay an early termination fee as specified in the contract, terminate the contract, and require the project company to remove the applicable solar photovoltaic system from the site. If we were unable to locate and acquire suitable replacement projects in a timely fashion it could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash available for distribution.

Additionally, certain of the PPAs associated with projects we may acquire allow the offtake purchaser to terminate the PPA in the event certain operating thresholds or performance measures are not achieved within specified time periods. If we acquire a project with a PPA containing such a termination provision, we will be subject to the risk of counterparty termination based on such criteria. In addition, certain of the PPAs associated with distributed generation projects allow the offtaker to terminate the PPA by paying an early termination fee. Further, the PPA for the Regulus project, which is subject to the Support Agreement, permits the offtake purchaser to terminate the contract if construction is not completed by December 31, 2014. In the event a PPA for one or more of our projects is terminated under such provisions, it could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and cash available for distribution until we are able to replace the PPA on similar terms. We cannot provide any assurance that PPAs containing such provisions will not be terminated or, in the event of termination, we will be able to enter into a replacement PPA. Moreover, any replacement PPA may be on terms less favorable to us than the PPA that was terminated.

Most of our PPAs do not include inflation-based price increases.

In general, the PPAs that have been entered into for the projects in our initial portfolio and the Call Right Projects do not contain inflation-based price increase provisions. Certain of the countries in which we expect to have operations, or into which we may expand in the future, have in the past experienced high inflation. To the extent that the countries in which we conduct our business experience high rates of inflation, thereby increasing our operating costs in those countries, we may not be able to generate sufficient revenues to offset the effects of inflation, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

A material drop in the retail price of utility-generated electricity or electricity from other sources could increase competition for new PPAs.

We believe that an end-user’s decision to buy renewable energy from us is primarily driven by their desire to pay less for electricity. The end-user’s decision may also be affected by the cost of other renewable energy sources. Decreases in the retail prices of electricity supplied by utilities or other renewable energy sources would harm our ability to offer competitive pricing and could harm our ability to sign new customers. The price of electricity from utilities could decrease for a number of reasons, including:

 

    the construction of a significant number of new power generation plants, including nuclear, coal, natural gas or renewable energy facilities;

 

    the construction of additional electric transmission and distribution lines;

 

    a reduction in the price of natural gas, including as a result of new drilling techniques or a relaxation of associated regulatory standards;

 

    energy conservation technologies and public initiatives to reduce electricity consumption; and

 

    the development of new renewable energy technologies that provide less expensive energy.

 

31


Table of Contents

A reduction in utility retail electricity prices would make the purchase of solar energy less economically attractive. In addition, a shift in the timing of peak rates for utility-supplied electricity to a time of day when solar energy generation is less efficient could make solar energy less competitive and reduce demand. If the retail price of energy available from utilities were to decrease, we would be at a competitive disadvantage, we may be unable to attract new customers and our growth would be limited.

We are exposed to risks associated with the projects in our initial portfolio and the Call Right Projects that are newly constructed or are under construction.

Certain of the projects that will be included in our initial portfolio will be under construction at the time that we acquire them. We may experience delays or unexpected costs during the completion of construction of these projects, and if any project is not completed according to specification, we may incur liabilities and suffer reduced project efficiency, higher operating costs and reduced cash flows. Additionally, the remedies available to us under the applicable EPC contract may not sufficiently compensate us for unexpected costs and delays related to project construction. If we are unable to complete the construction of a project for any reason, we may not be able to recover our related investment. In addition, certain of the Call Right Projects are under construction and may not be completed on schedule or at all, in which case any such project would not be available for acquisition by us during the time frame we currently expect or at all. Since our primary growth strategy is the acquisition of new clean energy projects, including under the Support Agreement, a delay in our ability to acquire a Call Right Project could materially and adversely affect our expected growth.

In addition, each project under construction in the United Kingdom will not have a PPA until such project reaches COD. We cannot be certain that we will be able to enter into a PPA with respect to each of these projects in a timely manner or on terms favorable to us. Furthermore, the PPA for the Regulus Solar project in the United States, which is a Call Right Project, will terminate if construction is not completed by the end of 2014. If we are unable to timely enter into PPAs with respect to such projects under construction in the United Kingdom, or if the terms of the PPAs are less favorable than we currently expect, or if the construction of the Regulus Solar project is not completed in 2014 and the related PPA is terminated, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows may be materially and adversely affected.

In addition, our expectations for the operating performance of newly constructed projects and projects under construction are based on assumptions and estimates made without the benefit of operating history. Projections contained in this prospectus regarding our ability to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock assume such projects perform to our expectations. However, the ability of these projects to meet our performance expectations is subject to the risks inherent in newly constructed power generation facilities and the construction of such facilities, including, but not limited to, degradation of equipment in excess of our expectations, system failures and outages. The failure of these facilities to perform as we expect could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and our ability to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock.

Certain of our PPAs and project-level financing arrangements include provisions that would permit the counterparty to terminate the contract or accelerate maturity in the event our Sponsor ceases to own, directly or indirectly, a majority of our company.

Certain of our PPAs and project-level financing arrangements contain change in control provisions that provide the counterparty with a termination right or accelerate maturity in the event our Sponsor ceases to be the majority owner, directly or indirectly, of the applicable project subsidiary. As a result, if our Sponsor ceases to own a majority of Yieldco, the counterparties could terminate such

 

32


Table of Contents

contracts or accelerate maturity of such financing arrangement. The termination of any of our PPAs or acceleration of maturity of any of our project-level financing as a result of a change in control of Yieldco could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The growth of our business depends on locating and acquiring interests in additional attractive clean energy projects at favorable prices from our Sponsor and unaffiliated third parties.

Our primary business strategy is to acquire clean energy projects that are operational. We may also acquire in limited circumstances clean energy projects that are pre-operational. We intend to pursue opportunities to acquire projects from both our Sponsor and third parties. The following factors, among others, could affect the availability of attractive projects to grow our business:

 

    competing bids for a project, including from companies that may have substantially greater capital and other resources than we do;

 

    fewer third party acquisition opportunities than we expect, which could result from, among other things, available projects having less desirable economic returns or higher risk profiles than we believe suitable for our business plan and investment strategy;

 

    our Sponsor’s failure to complete the development of (i) the Call Right Projects, which could result from, among other things, permitting challenges, failure to procure the requisite financing, equipment or interconnection, or an inability to satisfy the conditions to effectiveness of project agreements such as PPAs, and (ii) any of the other projects in its development pipeline in a timely manner, or at all, in either case, which could limit our acquisition opportunities under the Support Agreement; and

 

    our failure to exercise our rights under the Support Agreement to acquire assets from our Sponsor.

Our acquisition strategy exposes us to substantial risks.

The acquisition of power generation assets is subject to substantial risks, including the failure to identify material problems during due diligence (for which we may not be indemnified post-closing), the risk of over-paying for assets (or not making acquisitions on an accretive basis), the ability to obtain or retain customers and, if the projects are in new markets, the risks of entering markets where we have limited experience. While we will perform our due diligence on prospective acquisitions, we may not be able to discover all potential operational deficiencies in such projects. The integration and consolidation of acquisitions requires substantial human, financial and other resources and may divert management’s attention from our existing business concerns, disrupt our ongoing business or not be successfully integrated. There can be no assurance that any future acquisitions will perform as expected or that the returns from such acquisitions will support the financing utilized to acquire them or maintain them. As a result, the consummation of acquisitions may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and ability to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock.

Any of these factors could prevent us from executing our growth strategy or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In addition, the development of clean energy projects is a capital intensive, high-risk business that relies heavily on the availability of debt and equity financing sources to fund projected construction and other projected capital expenditures. As a result, in order to successfully develop a clean energy project, development companies, including our Sponsor, from which we may seek to acquire projects, must obtain at-risk funds sufficient to complete the development phase of their projects. We, on the other hand, must anticipate obtaining funds from equity or debt financing sources, including under our

 

33


Table of Contents

Term Loan or Revolver, or from government grants in order to successfully fund and complete acquisitions of projects. Any significant disruption in the credit or capital markets, or a significant increase in interest rates, could make it difficult for our Sponsor or other development companies to successfully develop attractive projects as well as limit their ability to obtain project-level financing to complete the construction of a project we may seek to acquire. If our Sponsor or other development companies from which we seek to acquire projects are unable to raise funds when needed or if we or they are unable to secure adequate financing, the ability to grow our project portfolio may be limited, which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to implement our growth strategy and, ultimately, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We may not be able to effectively identify or consummate any future acquisitions on favorable terms, or at all. Additionally, even if we consummate acquisitions on terms that we believe are favorable, such acquisitions may in fact result in a decrease in cash available for distribution per Class A common share.

The number of acquisition opportunities for solar energy projects is limited. While our Sponsor will grant us the option to purchase the Call Right Projects and a right of first offer with respect to the ROFO Projects, we will compete with other companies for acquisition opportunities. This may increase our cost of making acquisitions or cause us to refrain from making acquisitions at all. Some of our competitors for acquisitions are much larger than us with substantially greater resources. These companies may be able to pay more for acquisitions and may be able to identify, evaluate, bid for and purchase a greater number of assets than our resources permit.

In addition, if we are unable to reach agreement with our Sponsor regarding the pricing of the Call Right Projects that have not yet been priced prior to our acquisition opportunities may be more limited than we currently expect. In addition, if our Sponsor’s development of new project slows, we also may have fewer opportunities to purchase projects from our Sponsor. If we are unable to identify and consummate future acquisitions, it will impede our ability to execute our growth strategy and limit our ability to increase the amount of dividends paid to holders of our Class A common stock.

Even if we consummate acquisitions that we believe will be accretive to cash available for distribution per share, those acquisitions may in fact result in a decrease in cash available for distribution per Class A common share as a result of incorrect assumptions in our evaluation of such acquisitions, unforeseen consequences or other external events beyond our control. Furthermore, if we consummate any future acquisitions, our capitalization and results of operations may change significantly, and stockholders will generally not have the opportunity to evaluate the economic, financial and other relevant information that we will consider in determining the application of these funds and other resources.

New projects being developed that we may acquire may need governmental approvals and permits, including environmental approvals and permits, for construction and operation. Any failure to obtain necessary permits could adversely affect our growth.

The design, construction and operation of solar energy projects are highly regulated, require various governmental approvals and permits, including environmental approvals and permits, and may be subject to the imposition of related conditions that vary by jurisdiction. We cannot predict whether all permits required for a given project will be granted or whether the conditions associated with the permits will be achievable. The denial or loss of a permit essential to a project or the imposition of impractical conditions upon renewal could impair our ability to construct and operate a project. In addition, we cannot predict whether the permits will attract significant opposition or whether the permitting process will be lengthened due to complexities, legal claims or appeals. Delays in the review and permitting process for a project can impair or delay our ability to acquire a project or increase the cost such that the project is no longer attractive to us.

 

34


Table of Contents

Our ability to grow and make acquisitions with cash on hand may be limited by our cash dividend policy.

As discussed in “Cash Dividend Policy,” our dividend policy is to distribute approximately     % of our cash available for distribution each quarter and to rely primarily upon external financing sources, including the issuance of debt and equity securities and, if applicable, borrowings under our Term Loan or our Revolver, to fund our acquisitions and growth capital expenditures (which we define as costs and expenses associated with the acquisition of project assets from our Sponsor and third parties and capitalized expenditures on existing projects to expand capacity). We may be precluded from pursuing otherwise attractive acquisitions if the projected short-term cash flow from the acquisition or investment is not adequate to service the capital raised to fund the acquisition or investment, after giving effect to our available cash reserves. See “Cash Dividend Policy—Our Ability to Grow our Business and Dividend.”

We intend to use a portion of the cash available for distribution generated by our project portfolio to pay regular quarterly cash dividends to holders of our Class A common stock. Our initial quarterly dividend will be set at $         per share of Class A common stock, or $         per share on an annualized basis. We established our initial quarterly dividend based upon a target payout ratio of approximately     % of projected annual cash available for distribution. As such, our growth may not be as fast as that of businesses that reinvest their available cash to expand ongoing operations. To the extent we issue additional equity securities in connection with any acquisitions or growth capital expenditures, the payment of dividends on these additional equity securities may increase the risk that we will be unable to maintain or increase our per share dividend. There will be no limitations in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation (other than a specified number of authorized shares) on our ability to issue equity securities, including securities ranking senior to our common stock. The incurrence of bank borrowings or other debt by Yield Operating LLC or by our project-level subsidiaries to finance our growth strategy will result in increased interest expense and the imposition of additional or more restrictive covenants which, in turn, may impact the cash distributions we distribute to holders of our Class A common stock.

Our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial condition and ability to operate our business, including restricting our ability to pay cash dividends or react to changes in the economy or our industry.

As of December 31, 2013, after giving pro form effect to the Organizational Transactions, we would have had approximately $         million of indebtedness and an additional $         million available for future borrowings under our Revolver. Our substantial debt following the completion of this offering could have important negative consequences on our financial condition, including:

 

    increasing our vulnerability to general economic and industry conditions;

 

    requiring a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to be dedicated to the payment of principal and interest on our indebtedness, thereby reducing our ability to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock or to use our cash flow to fund our operations, capital expenditures and future business opportunities;

 

    limiting our ability to enter into or receive payments under long-term power sales or fuel purchases which require credit support;

 

    limiting our ability to fund operations or future acquisitions;

 

    restricting our ability to make certain distributions with respect to our capital stock and the ability of our subsidiaries to make certain distributions to us, in light of restricted payment and other financial covenants in our credit facilities and other financing agreements;

 

    exposing us to the risk of increased interest rates because certain of our borrowings, which may include borrowings under our Revolver, are at variable rates of interest;

 

35


Table of Contents
    limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, including collateral postings, capital expenditures, debt service requirements, acquisitions and general corporate or other purposes; and

 

    limiting our ability to adjust to changing market conditions and placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors who have less debt.

Our Revolver and Term Loan will contain financial and other restrictive covenants that limit our ability to return capital to stockholders or otherwise engage in activities that may be in our long-term best interests. Our inability to satisfy certain financial covenants could prevent us from paying cash dividends, and our failure to comply with those and other covenants could result in an event of default which, if not cured or waived, may entitle the related lenders to demand repayment or enforce their security interests, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, failure to comply with such covenants may entitle the related lenders to demand repayment and accelerate all such indebtedness.

The agreements governing our project-level financing contain financial and other restrictive covenants that limit our project subsidiaries’ ability to make distributions to us or otherwise engage in activities that may be in our long-term best interests. The project-level financing agreements generally prohibit distributions from the project entities to us unless certain specific conditions are met, including the satisfaction of certain financial ratios. Our inability to satisfy certain financial covenants may prevent cash distributions by the particular project(s) to us and our failure to comply with those and other covenants could result in an event of default which, if not cured or waived may entitle the related lenders to demand repayment or enforce their security interests, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, failure to comply with such covenants may entitle the related lenders to demand repayment and accelerate all such indebtedness. If we are unable to make distributions from our project-level subsidiaries, it would likely have a material adverse effect on our ability to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock.

In addition, if we are unable to repay the Bridge Facility in full in connection with the consummation of this offering, we will continue to be subject to the financial and other restrictive covenants contained in that facility. Failure to comply with such covenants may entitle lenders to accelerate the indebtedness under the Bridge Facility and may cause related acceleration of indebtedness under our new Revolver and Term Loan. If we are unable to satisfy financial covenants under the Bridge Facility, we may be unable to pay cash dividends which could have a material adverse effect on our business and the price of our Class A common stock.

If our subsidiaries default on their obligations under their project-level indebtedness, we may decide to make payments to lenders to prevent foreclosure on the collateral securing the project-level debt. If we are unable to or decide not to make such payments, we would lose certain of our solar energy projects upon foreclosure.

Our subsidiaries incur, and we expect will in the future incur, various types of project-level indebtedness. Non-recourse debt is repayable solely from the applicable project’s revenues and is secured by the project’s physical assets, major contracts, cash accounts and, in many cases, our ownership interest in the project subsidiary. Limited recourse debt is debt where we have provided a limited guarantee, and recourse debt is debt where we have provided a full guarantee, which means if our subsidiaries default on these obligations, we will be liable directly to those lenders, although in the case of limited recourse debt only to the extent of our limited recourse obligations. To satisfy these obligations, we may be required to use amounts distributed by our other subsidiaries as well as other sources of available cash, reducing our cash available to execute our business plan and pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock. In addition, if our subsidiaries default on their obligations under non-recourse financing agreements, we may decide to make payments to prevent the lenders of

 

36


Table of Contents

these subsidiaries from foreclosing on the relevant collateral. Such a foreclosure could result in our losing our ownership interest in the subsidiary or in some or all of its assets. The loss of our ownership interest in one or more of our subsidiaries or some or all of their assets could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.

If we are unable to renew letter of credit facilities that we may enter into in the future, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows may be materially adversely affected.

In the future we may enter into letter of credit facilities to support project-level contractual obligations. These letter of credit facilities generally will need to be renewed after five to seven years, at which time we will need to satisfy applicable financial ratios and covenants. If we are unable to renew our letters of credit as expected or if we are only able to replace them with letters of credit under different facilities on less favorable terms, we may experience a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Furthermore, the inability to provide letters of credit may constitute a default under certain project-level financing arrangements, restrict the ability of the project-level subsidiary to make distributions to us and/or reduce the amount of cash available at such subsidiary to make distributions to us.

Our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations may be limited.

Our ability to arrange additional financing, either at the corporate level or at a non-recourse project-level subsidiary, may be limited. Additional financing, including the costs of such financing, will be dependent on numerous factors, including:

 

    general economic and capital market conditions;

 

    credit availability from banks and other financial institutions;

 

    investor confidence in us, our partners, our Sponsor, as our principal stockholder (on a combined voting basis), and manager under the Management Services Agreement, and the regional wholesale power markets;

 

    our financial performance and the financial performance of our subsidiaries;

 

    our level of indebtedness and compliance with covenants in debt agreements;

 

    maintenance of acceptable project credit ratings or credit quality;

 

    cash flow; and

 

    provisions of tax and securities laws that may impact raising capital.

We may not be successful in obtaining additional financing for these or other reasons. Furthermore, we may be unable to refinance or replace project-level financing arrangements or other credit facilities on favorable terms or at all upon the expiration or termination thereof. Our failure, or the failure of any of our projects, to obtain additional capital or enter into new or replacement financing arrangements when due may constitute a default under such existing indebtedness and may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our ability to generate revenue from certain utility solar energy projects depends on having interconnection arrangements and services.

Our future success will depend, in part, on our ability to maintain satisfactory interconnection agreements. If the interconnection or transmission agreement of a solar energy project is terminated for any reason, we may not be able to replace it with an interconnection and transmission arrangement

 

37


Table of Contents

on terms as favorable as the existing arrangement, or at all, or we may experience significant delays or costs in connection with securing a replacement. If a network to which one or more of the solar energy projects is connected experiences “down time,” the affected project may lose revenue and be exposed to non-performance penalties and claims from its customers. These may include claims for damages incurred by customers, such as the additional cost of acquiring alternative electricity supply at then-current spot market rates. The owners of the network will not usually compensate electricity generators for lost income due to down time. These factors could materially affect our ability to forecast operations and negatively affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flow.

For some of our projects, we rely on electric interconnection and transmission facilities that we do not own or control and that are subject to transmission constraints within a number of our regions. If these facilities fail to provide us with adequate transmission capacity, we may be restricted in our ability to deliver electric power to our customers and we may incur additional costs or forego revenues.

For our utility-scale projects we depend on electric transmission facilities owned and operated by others to deliver the power we generate and sell at wholesale to our utility customers. A failure or delay in the operation or development of these transmission facilities or a significant increase in the cost of the development of such facilities could result in our losing revenues. Such failures or delays could limit the amount of power our operating facilities deliver or delay the completion of our construction projects. Additionally, such failures, delays or increased costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. If a region’s power transmission infrastructure is inadequate, our recovery of wholesale costs and profits may be limited. If restrictive transmission price regulation is imposed, the transmission companies may not have a sufficient incentive to invest in expansion of transmission infrastructure. We also cannot predict whether transmission facilities will be expanded in specific markets to accommodate competitive access to those markets. In addition, certain of our operating facilities’ generation of electricity may be physically or economically curtailed without compensation due to transmission limitations or limitations on the transmission grid’s ability to accommodate all of the generating resources seeking to move power over or sell power through the grid, reducing our revenues and impairing our ability to capitalize fully on a particular facility’s generating potential. Such curtailments could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Furthermore, economic congestion on the transmission grid (that is a positive price difference between the location where power is put on the grid by a project and the location where power is taken off the grid by the project’s customer) in certain of the bulk power markets in which we operate may occur and we may be deemed responsible for those congestion costs. If we were liable for such congestion costs, our financial results could be adversely affected.

We face competition from traditional and renewable energy companies.

The solar energy industry is highly competitive and continually evolving as market participants strive to distinguish themselves within their markets and compete with large incumbent utilities and new market entrants. We believe that our primary competitors are the traditional incumbent utilities that supply energy to our potential customers under highly regulated rate and tariff structures. We compete with these traditional utilities primarily based on price, predictability of price, and the ease by which customers can switch to electricity generated by our solar energy systems. If we cannot offer compelling value to our customers based on these factors, then our business will not grow. Traditional utilities generally have substantially greater financial, technical, operational and other resources than we do. As a result of their greater size, these competitors may be able to devote more resources to the research, development, promotion and sale of their products or respond more quickly to evolving industry standards and changes in market conditions than we can. Traditional utilities could also offer other value-added products or services that could help them to compete with us even if the cost of

 

38


Table of Contents

electricity they offer is higher than ours. In addition, a majority of traditional utilities’ sources of electricity is non-solar, which may allow them to sell electricity more cheaply than electricity generated by our solar energy systems.

We also face risks that traditional utilities could change their volumetric-based (i.e., cents per kWh) rate and tariff structures to make distributed solar generation less economically attractive to their retail customers. Currently, net metering programs are utilized in 43 states to support the growth of distributed generation solar by requiring traditional utilities to reimburse their retail customers who are home and business owners for the excess power they generate at the level of the utilities’ retail rates rather than the rates at which those utilities buy power at wholesale. These net metering policies have generated controversy recently because the difference between traditional utilities’ retail rates and the rates at which they can buy power at wholesale can be significant and solar owners can escape most of the infrastructure surcharges that are part of other electricity users’ bills recovered through volumetric-based rates. To address those concerns and to allow traditional utilities to cover their transmission and distribution fixed charges, at least one state public utility commission, in Arizona, has allowed its largest traditional utility, Arizona Public Service, to assess a surcharge on solar owners for their use of the utility’s grid, based on how much electricity they use. This surcharge will reduce the economic returns for the excess electricity that solar owners’ systems produce. These types of changes or other types of changes that could reduce or eliminate the economic benefits of net-metering could be implemented by state public utility commissions or state legislatures in the other 43 states throughout the United States that utilize net-metering programs, and could significantly change the economic benefits of solar energy as perceived by traditional utilities’ retail customers.

We also face competition in the energy efficiency evaluation and upgrades market and we expect to face competition in additional markets as we introduce new energy-related products and services. As the solar industry grows and evolves, we will also face new competitors who are not currently in the market. Our failure to adapt to changing market conditions and to compete successfully with existing or new competitors will limit our growth and will have a material adverse effect on our business and prospects.

There are a limited number of purchasers of utility-scale quantities of electricity, which exposes us and our utility-scale projects to additional risk.

Since the transmission and distribution of electricity is either monopolized or highly concentrated in most jurisdictions, there are a limited number of possible purchasers for utility-scale quantities of electricity in a given geographic location, including transmission grid operators, state and investor-owned power companies, public utility districts and cooperatives. As a result, there is a concentrated pool of potential buyers for electricity generated by our plants and projects, which may restrict our ability to negotiate favorable terms under new PPAs and could impact our ability to find new customers for the electricity generated by our generation facilities should this become necessary. Furthermore, if the financial condition of these utilities and/or power purchasers deteriorated or the Renewable Portfolio Standard, or “RPS,” climate change programs or other regulations to which they are currently subject and that compel them to source renewable energy supplies change, demand for electricity produced by our plants could be negatively impacted. In addition, provisions in our power sale arrangements may provide for the curtailment of delivery of electricity for various reasons, including to prevent damage to transmission systems, for system emergencies, force majeure or for economic reasons. Such curtailment would reduce revenues to us from power sale arrangements. If we cannot enter into power sale arrangements on terms favorable to us, or at all, or if the purchaser under our power sale arrangements were to exercise its curtailment or other rights to reduce purchases or payments under such arrangements, our revenues and our decisions regarding development of additional projects may be adversely affected.

 

39


Table of Contents

A significant deterioration in the financial performance of the retail industry could materially adversely affect our distributed generation business.

The financial performance of our distributed generation business depends in part upon the continued viability and financial stability of our customers in the retail industry, such as medium and large independent retailers and distribution centers. If the retail industry is materially and adversely affected by an economic downturn, increase in inflation or other factors, one or more of our largest customers could encounter financial difficulty, and possibly, bankruptcy. If one or more of our largest customers were to encounter financial difficulty or declare bankruptcy, they may reduce their power purchase agreement payments to us or stop them altogether. Any interruption or termination in payments by our customers would result in less cash being paid to the special purpose legal entities we establish to finance our projects, which could adversely affect the entities’ ability to make lease payments to the financing parties which are the legal owners of many of our solar energy systems or to pay our lenders in the case of the solar energy systems that we own. In such a case, the amount of distributable cash held by the entities would decrease, adversely affecting the cash flows we receive from such entities. In addition, our ability to finance additional new projects with PPAs from such customers would be adversely affected, undermining our ability to grow our business. Any reduction or termination of payments by one or more of our principal distributed generation customers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The generation of electric energy from solar energy sources depends heavily on suitable meteorological conditions. If solar conditions are unfavorable, our electricity generation, and therefore revenue from our renewable generation facilities using our systems, may be substantially below our expectations.

The electricity produced and revenues generated by a solar electric generation facility are highly dependent on suitable solar conditions and associated weather conditions, which are beyond our control. Furthermore, components of our system, such as solar panels and inverters, could be damaged by severe weather, such as hailstorms or tornadoes. We generally will be obligated to bear the expense of repairing the damaged solar energy systems that we own, and replacement and spare parts for key components may be difficult or costly to acquire or may be unavailable. Unfavorable weather and atmospheric conditions could impair the effectiveness of our assets or reduce their output beneath their rated capacity or require shutdown of key equipment, impeding operation of our solar assets and our ability to achieve forecasted revenues and cash flows. Sustained unfavorable weather could also unexpectedly delay the installation of solar energy systems, which could result in a delay in us acquiring new projects or increase the cost of such projects.

We base our investment decisions with respect to each solar energy facility on the findings of related solar studies conducted on-site prior to construction or based on historical conditions at existing facilities. However, actual climatic conditions at a facility site may not conform to the findings of these studies and therefore, our solar energy facilities may not meet anticipated production levels or the rated capacity of our generation assets, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and cash flows.

While we currently own only solar energy projects, in the future we may decide to expand our acquisition strategy to include other types of energy or transmission projects. To the extent that we expand our operations to include new business segments, our business operations may suffer from a lack of experience, which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We have limited experience in non-solar energy generation operations. As a result of this lack of experience, we may be prone to errors if we expand our projects beyond solar energy. We lack the

 

40


Table of Contents

technical training and experience with developing, starting or operating non-solar generation facilities. With no direct training or experience in these areas, our management may not be fully aware of the many specific requirements related to working in industries beyond solar energy generation. Additionally, we may be exposed to increased operating costs, unforeseen liabilities or risks, and regulatory and environmental concerns associated with entering new sectors of the power generation industry, which could have an adverse impact on our business as well as place us at a competitive disadvantage relative to more established non-solar energy market participants. In addition, such ventures could require a disproportionate amount of our management’s attention and resources. Our operations, earnings and ultimate financial success could suffer irreparable harm due to our management’s lack of experience in these industries. We may rely, to a certain extent, on the expertise and experience of industry consultants and we may have to hire additional experienced personnel to assist us with our operations. We can offer no assurance that if we expand our business beyond solar energy generation, we will be able to effectively develop new non-solar projects and achieve our targeted financial goals.

Operation of power generation facilities involves significant risks and hazards that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We may not have adequate insurance to cover these risks and hazards.

The ongoing operation of our facilities involves risks that include the breakdown or failure of equipment or processes or performance below expected levels of output or efficiency due to wear and tear, latent defect, design error or operator error or force majeure events, among other things. Operation of our facilities also involves risks that we will be unable to transport our product to our customers in an efficient manner due to a lack of transmission capacity. Unplanned outages of generating units, including extensions of scheduled outages, occur from time to time and are an inherent risk of our business. Unplanned outages typically increase our operation and maintenance expenses and may reduce our revenues as a result of generating and selling less power or require us to incur significant costs as a result of obtaining replacement power from third parties in the open market to satisfy our forward power sales obligations.

Our inability to operate our solar energy assets efficiently, manage capital expenditures and costs and generate earnings and cash flow from our asset-based businesses could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. While we maintain insurance, obtain warranties from vendors and obligate contractors to meet certain performance levels, the proceeds of such insurance, warranties or performance guarantees may not cover our lost revenues, increased expenses or liquidated damages payments should we experience equipment breakdown or non-performance by contractors or vendors.

Power generation involves hazardous activities, including delivering electricity to transmission and distribution systems. In addition to natural risks such as earthquake, flood, lightning, hurricane and wind, other hazards, such as fire, explosion, structural collapse and machinery failure are inherent risks in our operations. These and other hazards can cause significant personal injury or loss of life, severe damage to and destruction of property, plant and equipment and contamination of, or damage to, the environment and suspension of operations. The occurrence of any one of these events may result in our being named as a defendant in lawsuits asserting claims for substantial damages, including for environmental cleanup costs, personal injury and property damage and fines and/or penalties. We maintain an amount of insurance protection that we consider adequate but we cannot provide any assurance that our insurance will be sufficient or effective under all circumstances and against all hazards or liabilities to which we may be subject. Furthermore, our insurance coverage is subject to deductibles, caps, exclusions and other limitations. A loss for which we are not fully insured could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. Further, due to rising insurance costs and changes in the insurance markets, we cannot provide any

 

41


Table of Contents

assurance that our insurance coverage will continue to be available at all or at rates or on terms similar to those presently available. Any losses not covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our business is subject to substantial governmental regulation and may be adversely affected by changes in laws or regulations, as well as liability under, or any future inability to comply with, existing or future regulations or other legal requirements.

Our business will be subject to extensive federal, state and local laws and regulations in the countries we operate in. Compliance with the requirements under these various regulatory regimes may cause us to incur significant additional costs, and failure to comply with such requirements could result in the shutdown of the non-complying facility, the imposition of liens, fines and/or civil or criminal liability.

All of our United States projects in the Initial Asset Transfers are “Qualifying Facilities” as defined under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, as amended, or “PURPA.” As such, these projects and their immediate project company owners are exempt from ratemaking and certain other regulatory provisions of the Federal Power Act, from the books and records access provisions of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005, or “PUHCA,” and from state organizational and financial regulation of electric utilities, provided that the facilities have nameplate capacities of less than 20 MW (nameplate capacity MWac). As our portfolio grows, certain of our facilities, such as the Regulus project, will exceed this 20 MW threshold and will be generally subject to the ratemaking and other regulatory provisions of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) administered by FERC and such state regulatory provisions as may apply as discussed further in “Business—Regulatory Matters.” The failure of our projects and project company owners to maintain the exemptions available to Qualifying Facilities and Exempt Wholesale Generators may result in them becoming subject to significant additional regulatory requirements, and their failure to comply with currently applicable regulatory requirements may result in the imposition of penalties and additional compliance obligations as discussed further in “Business— Regulatory Matters.”

Substantially all of our assets are also subject to the rules and regulations applicable to power generators generally, in particular the reliability standards of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation or similar standards in Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile. If we fail to comply with these mandatory reliability standards, we could be subject to sanctions, including substantial monetary penalties, increased compliance obligations and disconnection from the grid.

The regulatory environment for electric generation in the United States has undergone significant changes in the last several years due to state and federal policies affecting the wholesale and retail power markets and the creation of incentives for the addition of large amounts of new renewable generation, demand response resources and, in some cases, transmission assets. These changes are ongoing and we cannot predict the future design of the wholesale and retail power markets or the ultimate effect that the changing regulatory environment will have on our business. In addition, in some of these markets, interested parties have proposed material market design changes, including the elimination of a single clearing price mechanism, as well as proposals to re-regulate the markets or require divestiture of electric generation assets by asset owners or operators to reduce their market share. Other proposals to re-regulate may be made and legislative or other attention to the electric power market restructuring process may delay or reverse the deregulation process. If competitive restructuring of the electric power markets is reversed, discontinued or delayed, our business prospects and financial results could be negatively impacted.

 

42


Table of Contents

Similarly, we cannot predict if the significant increase in the installation of renewable energy projects in the other markets we operate in could result in modifications to applicable rules and regulations.

Laws and governmental regulations and policies supporting renewable energy, and specifically solar energy, could change at any time, including as a result of new political leadership, and such changes may materially adversely affect our business and our growth strategy.

Renewable generation assets currently benefit from various federal, state and local governmental incentives. In the United States, these incentives include investment tax credits, or “ITCs,” cash grants in lieu of ITCs, loan guarantees, RPS programs, modified accelerated cost-recovery system of depreciation and bonus depreciation. For example, the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the “Code,” provides an ITC of 30% of the cost-basis of an eligible resource, including solar energy facilities placed in service prior to the end of 2016, which percentage is currently scheduled to be reduced to 10% for solar energy systems placed in service after December 31, 2016. The United States Congress could replace the expected 10% ITC with an untested production tax credit of an unknown percentage. Any reduction in the ITC could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Many U.S. states have adopted RPS programs mandating that a specified percentage of electricity sales come from eligible sources of renewable energy. However, the regulations that govern the RPS programs, including pricing incentives for renewable energy, or reasonableness guidelines for pricing that increase valuation compared to conventional power (such as a projected value for carbon reduction or consideration of avoided integration costs), may change. If the RPS requirements are reduced or eliminated, it could lead to fewer future power contracts or lead to lower prices for the sale of power in future power contracts, which could have a material adverse effect on our future growth prospects. Such material adverse effects may result from decreased revenues, reduced economic returns on certain project company investments, increased financing costs and/or difficulty obtaining financing.

Renewable energy sources in Canada benefit from federal and provincial incentives, such as RPS programs, accelerated cost recovery deductions, the availability of off-take agreements through RPS and the Ontario FIT program, and other commercially oriented incentives. Renewable energy sources in the United Kingdom benefit from renewable obligation certificates, climate change levy exemption certificates and embedded benefits. Renewable energy sources in Chile principally benefit from an RPS program. Any adverse change to, or the elimination of, these incentives could have a material adverse effect on our business and our future growth prospects.

In addition, governmental regulations and policies could be changed to provide for new rate programs that undermine the economic returns for both new and existing distributed solar assets by charging additional, non-negotiable fixed or demand charges or other fees or reductions in the number of projects allowed under net metering policies. Our business could also be subject to new and burdensome interconnection processes, delays and upgrade costs or local permit and site restrictions.

If any of the laws or governmental regulations or policies that support renewable energy, including solar energy, change, or if we are subject to new and burdensome laws or regulations, such changes may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

43


Table of Contents

We have a limited operating history and as a result there is no assurance we can operate on a profitable basis.

We have a relatively new portfolio of assets, including several projects that have only recently commenced operations or that we expect will commence operations prior to the end of 2015, and a limited operating history on which to base an evaluation of our business and prospects. Our prospects must be considered in light of the risks, expenses and difficulties frequently encountered by companies in their early stages of operation, particularly in a rapidly evolving industry such as ours. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in addressing the risks we may encounter, and our failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our Sponsor, as well as third parties with whom we have signed letters of intent or acquisition agreements, may incur additional costs or delays in completing the construction of certain generation facilities, which could materially adversely affect our growth strategy.

As of the date of this prospectus, a number of solar energy projects that we intend to acquire are under construction. Our growth strategy is dependent to a significant degree on acquiring new solar energy projects from our Sponsor and third parties. Our Sponsor’s or such third parties’ failure to complete the projects that are currently under construction at projected costs, in a timely manner, or at all, could have a material adverse effect on our growth strategy, since we could not acquire such projects at the projected prices or dates, or at all. The construction of solar energy facilities involves many risks including:

 

    delays in obtaining, or the inability to obtain, necessary permits and licenses;

 

    delays and increased costs related to the interconnection of new generation facilities to the transmission system;

 

    the inability to acquire or maintain land use and access rights;

 

    the failure to receive contracted third party services;

 

    interruptions to dispatch at our facilities;

 

    supply interruptions;

 

    work stoppages;

 

    labor disputes;

 

    weather interferences;

 

    unforeseen engineering, environmental and geological problems;

 

    unanticipated cost overruns in excess of budgeted contingencies;

 

    failure of contracting parties to perform under contracts, including engineering, procurement and construction contractors; and

 

    operations and maintenance costs not covered by warranties or that occur following expiration of warranties.

Any of these risks could cause a delay in the completion of projects under development, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

44


Table of Contents

Maintenance, expansion and refurbishment of power generation facilities involve significant risks that could result in unplanned power outages or reduced output.

Our facilities may require periodic upgrading and improvement. Any unexpected operational or mechanical failure, including failure associated with breakdowns and forced outages, and any decreased operational or management performance, could reduce our facilities’ generating capacity below expected levels, reducing our revenues and jeopardizing our ability to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock at forecasted levels or at all. Degradation of the performance of our solar facilities above levels provided for in the related PPAs may also reduce our revenues. Unanticipated capital expenditures associated with maintaining, upgrading or repairing our facilities may also reduce profitability.

We may also choose to, refurbish or upgrade our facilities based on our assessment that such activity will provide adequate financial returns. Such facilities require time for development and capital expenditures before COD, and key assumptions underpinning a decision to make such an investment may prove incorrect, including assumptions regarding construction costs, timing, available financing and future power prices. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our Sponsor and other developers of solar energy projects depend on a limited number of suppliers of solar panels, inverters, modules and other system components. Any shortage, delay or component price change from these suppliers could result in construction or installation delays, which could affect the number of solar projects we are able to acquire in the future.

Our solar projects are constructed with solar panels, inverters, modules and other system components from a limited number of suppliers, making us susceptible to quality issues, shortages and price changes. If our Sponsor and third parties from whom we may acquire solar projects or other clean power generation projects in the future fail to develop, maintain and expand relationships with these or other suppliers, or if they fail to identify suitable alternative suppliers in the event of a disruption with existing suppliers, the construction or installation of new solar energy projects or other clean power generation projects may be delayed or abandoned, which would reduce the number of available projects that we may have the opportunity to acquire in the future.

There have also been periods of industry-wide shortage of key components, including solar panels, in times of rapid industry growth. The manufacturing infrastructure for some of these components has a long lead time, requires significant capital investment and relies on the continued availability of key commodity materials, potentially resulting in an inability to meet demand for these components. In addition, the United States government has imposed tariffs on solar cells manufactured in China. Based on determinations by the United States government, the applicable anti-dumping tariff rates range from approximately 8%-239%. To the extent that United States market participants experience harm from Chinese pricing practices, an additional tariff of approximately 15%-16% will be applied. If our Sponsor or other unaffiliated third parties purchase solar panels containing cells manufactured in China, our purchase price for projects would reflect the tariff penalties mentioned above. A shortage of key commodity materials could also lead to a reduction in the number of projects that we may have the opportunity to acquire in the future, or delay or increase the costs of acquisitions.

We may incur unexpected expenses if the suppliers of components in our solar energy projects default in their warranty obligations.

The solar panels, inverters, modules and other system components utilized in our solar energy projects are generally covered by manufacturers’ warranties, which typically range from 5 to 20 years.

 

45


Table of Contents

In the event any such components fail to operate as required, we may be able to make a claim against the applicable warranty to cover all or a portion of the expense associated with the faulty component. However, these suppliers could cease operations and no longer honor the warranties, which would leave us to cover the expense associated with the faulty component. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be materially adversely affected if we cannot make claims under warranties covering our projects.

We are subject to environmental, health and safety laws and regulations and related compliance expenditures and liabilities.

Our assets are subject to numerous and significant federal, state, local and foreign laws, including statutes, regulations, guidelines, policies, directives and other requirements governing or relating to, among other things: protection of wildlife, including threatened and endangered species and their habitat; air emissions; discharges into water; water use; the storage, handling, use, transportation and distribution of dangerous goods and hazardous, residual and other regulated materials, such as chemicals; the prevention of releases of hazardous materials into the environment; the prevention, investigation, monitoring and remediation of hazardous materials in soil and groundwater, both on and offsite; land use and zoning matters; and workers’ health and safety matters. Our facilities could experience incidents, malfunctions and other unplanned events, such as spills of hazardous materials that may result in personal injury, penalties and property damage. In addition, certain environmental laws may result in liability, regardless of fault, concerning contamination at a range of properties, including properties currently or formerly owned, leased or operated by us and properties where we disposed of, or arranged for disposal of, waste. As such, the operation of our facilities carries an inherent risk of environmental, health and safety liabilities (including potential civil actions, compliance or remediation orders, fines and other penalties), and may result in the assets being involved from time to time in administrative and judicial proceedings relating to such matters. While we have implemented environmental, health and safety management programs designed to continually improve environmental, health and safety performance, we cannot assure you that such liabilities, as well as the costs for complying with environmental laws and regulations, will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Risks that are beyond our control, including but not limited to acts of terrorism or related acts of war, natural disasters, hostile cyber intrusions, theft or other catastrophic events, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our solar energy generation facilities that we acquired in the Initial Asset Transfers or those that we otherwise acquire in the future, including the Call Right Projects and any ROFO Projects, and the properties of unaffiliated third parties on which they may be located may be targets of terrorist activities, as well as events occurring in response to or in connection with them, that could cause environmental repercussions and/or result in full or partial disruption of the facilities’ ability to generate, transmit, transport or distribute electricity or natural gas. Strategic targets, such as energy-related facilities, may be at greater risk of future terrorist activities than other domestic targets. Hostile cyber intrusions, including those targeting information systems as well as electronic control systems used at the generating plants and for the related distribution systems, could severely disrupt business operations and result in loss of service to customers, as well as create significant expense to repair security breaches or system damage.

Furthermore, certain of the projects that we acquired in the Initial Asset Transfers or the Call Right Projects are located in active earthquake zones in California and Arizona, and our Sponsor and unaffiliated third parties from whom we may seek to acquire projects in the future may conduct operations in the same region or in other locations that are susceptible to natural disasters. The

 

46


Table of Contents

occurrence of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, drought, flood or localized extended outages of critical utilities or transportation systems, or any critical resource shortages, affecting us, SunEdison or third parties from whom we may seek to acquire projects in the future, could cause a significant interruption in our business, damage or destroy our facilities or those of our suppliers or the manufacturing equipment or inventory of our suppliers.

Additionally, certain of our power generation assets and equipment are at risk for theft and damage. Although theft of equipment is rare, its occurrence can be significantly disruptive to our operations. For example, because we utilize copper wire as an essential component in our electricity generation and transportation infrastructure, we are at risk for copper wire theft, especially at our international projects, due to an increased demand for copper in the United States and internationally. Theft of copper wire or solar panels can cause significant disruption to our operations for a period of months and can increase the operating losses of those locations.

Any such terrorist acts, environmental repercussions or disruptions, natural disasters or theft incidents could result in a significant decrease in revenues or significant reconstruction, remediation or replacement costs, beyond what could be recovered through insurance policies, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

International operations subject us to political and economic uncertainties.

Our initial portfolio will consist of solar projects located in the United States, its unincorporated territories, Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile. We intend to rapidly expand and diversify our initial project portfolio by acquiring utility-scale and distributed clean generation assets located in the United States, Canada, Chile and the United Kingdom. As a result, our activities are subject to significant political and economic uncertainties that may adversely affect our operating and financial performance. These uncertainties include, but are not limited to:

 

    the risk of a change in renewable power pricing policies, possibly with retroactive effect;

 

    measures restricting the ability of our facilities to access the grid to deliver electricity at certain times or at all;

 

    the macroeconomic climate and levels of energy consumption in the countries where we have operations;

 

    the comparative cost of other sources of energy;

 

    changes in taxation policies and/or the regulatory environment in the countries in which we have operations, including reductions to renewable power incentive programs;

 

    the imposition of currency controls and foreign exchange rate fluctuations;

 

    high rates of inflation;

 

    protectionist and other adverse public policies, including local content requirements, import/export tariffs, increased regulations or capital investment requirements;

 

    changes to land use regulations and permitting requirements;

 

    difficulty in timely identifying, attracting and retaining qualified technical and other personnel;

 

    difficulty competing against competitors who may have greater financial resources and/or a more effective or established localized business presence;

 

47


Table of Contents
    difficulty in developing any necessary partnerships with local businesses on commercially acceptable terms; and

 

    being subject to the jurisdiction of courts other than those of the United States, which courts may be less favorable to us.

These uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We may expand our international operations into countries where we currently have no presence, which would subject us to risks that may be specific to those new markets.

Since solar energy generation is in its early stages and changing and developing rapidly, we could decide to expand into other international markets. Risks inherent in an expansion of international operations into new markets include the following:

 

    inability to work successfully with third parties having local expertise to develop and construct projects and operate plants;

 

    restrictions on repatriation of earnings and cash;

 

    multiple, conflicting and changing laws and regulations, including those relating to export and import, the power market, tax, the environment, labor and other government requirements, approvals, permits and licenses;

 

    difficulties in enforcing agreements in foreign legal systems;

 

    changes in general economic and political conditions, including changes in government-regulated rates and incentives relating to solar energy generation;

 

    political and economic instability, including wars, acts of terrorism, political unrest, boycotts, sanctions and other business restrictions;

 

    difficulties with, and extra-normal costs of, recruiting and retaining local individuals skilled in international business operations;

 

    international business practices that may conflict with other customs or legal requirements to which we are subject, including anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws;

 

    risk of nationalization or other expropriation of private enterprises and land;

 

    financial risks, such as longer sales and payment cycles and greater difficulty collecting accounts receivable;

 

    fluctuations in currency exchange rates;

 

    high rates of inflation;

 

    inability to obtain, maintain or enforce intellectual property rights; and

 

    inability to locate adequate capital funding on attractive terms and conditions.

Doing business in new international markets, particularly emerging markets such as Chile, will require us to be able to respond to rapid changes in the particular market, legal and political conditions in these countries. While we have gained significant experience from our international operations to date, we may not be able to timely develop and implement policies and strategies that will be effective in each international jurisdiction where we may decide to conduct business.

 

48


Table of Contents

Changes in foreign withholding taxes could adversely affect our results of operations.

We will conduct a portion of our operations in Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile, and may in the future expand our business into other foreign countries. We are subject to risks that foreign countries may impose additional withholding taxes or otherwise tax our foreign income. Currently, distributions of earnings and other payments, including interest, to us from our foreign projects could constitute ordinary dividend income taxable to the extent of our earnings and profits, which may be subject to withholding taxes imposed by the jurisdiction in which such entities are formed or operating. Any such withholding taxes will reduce the amount of after-tax cash we can receive. If those withholding taxes are increased, the amount of after-tax cash we receive will be further reduced.

We are exposed to foreign currency exchange risks because certain of our solar energy projects are located in foreign countries.

We generate a portion of our revenues and incur a portion of our expenses in currencies other than United States dollars. Changes in economic or political conditions in any of the countries in which we operate could result in exchange rate movement, new currency or exchange controls or other restrictions being imposed on our operations or expropriation. Because our financial results are reported in United States dollars, if we generate revenue or earnings in other currencies, the translation of those results into United States dollars can result in a significant increase or decrease in the amount of those revenues or earnings. To the extent that we are unable to match revenues received in foreign currencies with costs paid in the same currency, exchange rate fluctuations in any such currency could have an adverse effect on our profitability. Our debt service requirements are primarily in United States dollars even though a percentage of our cash flow is generated in other foreign currencies and therefore significant changes in the value of such foreign currencies relative to the United States dollar could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and our ability to meet interest and principal payments on United States dollar denominated debt. In addition to currency translation risks, we incur currency transaction risks whenever we or one of our projects enter into a purchase or sales transaction using a currency other than the local currency of the transacting entity.

Given the volatility of exchange rates, we cannot assure you that we will be able to effectively manage our currency transaction and/or translation risks. It is possible that volatility in currency exchange rates will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations. We expect to experience economic losses and gains and negative and positive impacts on earnings as a result of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, particularly as a result of changes in the value of the Canadian Dollar and other currencies. We expect that the portion of our revenues denominated in non- United States dollar currencies will continue to increase in future periods.

Additionally, although a portion of our revenues and expenses are denominated in foreign currency, we will pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock in United States dollars. The amount of United States dollar denominated dividends paid to our holders of our Class A common stock will therefore be exposed to currency exchange rate risk. Although we intend to enter into hedging arrangements to help mitigate some of this exchange rate risk, there can be no assurance that these arrangements will be sufficient. Changes in the foreign exchange rates could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and may adversely affect the amount of cash dividends paid by us to holders of our Class A common stock.

Our international operations require us to comply with anti-corruption laws and regulations of the United States government and various non-U.S. jurisdictions.

Doing business in multiple countries requires us and our subsidiaries to comply with the laws and regulations of the United States government and various non-U.S. jurisdictions. Our failure to comply

 

49


Table of Contents

with these rules and regulations may expose us to liabilities. These laws and regulations may apply to us, our subsidiaries, individual directors, officers, employees and agents, and those of our Sponsor, and may restrict our operations, trade practices, investment decisions and partnering activities. In particular, our non-U.S. operations are subject to United States and foreign anti-corruption laws and regulations, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, or the “FCPA.” The FCPA prohibits United States companies and their officers, directors, employees and agents acting on their behalf from corruptly offering, promising, authorizing or providing anything of value to foreign officials for the purposes of influencing official decisions or obtaining or retaining business or otherwise obtaining favorable treatment. The FCPA also requires companies to make and keep books, records and accounts that accurately and fairly reflect transactions and dispositions of assets and to maintain a system of adequate internal accounting controls. As part of our business, we deal with state-owned business enterprises, the employees and representatives of which may be considered foreign officials for purposes of the FCPA. As a result, business dealings between our or our Sponsor’s employees and any such foreign official could expose our company to the risk of violating anti-corruption laws even if such business practices may be customary or are not otherwise prohibited between our company and a private third party. Violations of these legal requirements are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment, civil penalties, disgorgement of profits, injunctions, debarment from government contracts as well as other remedial measures. We have established policies and procedures designed to assist us and our personnel in complying with applicable United States and non-U.S. laws and regulations; however, we cannot assure you that these policies and procedures will completely eliminate the risk of a violation of these legal requirements, and any such violation (inadvertent or otherwise) could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In the future, we may acquire certain assets in which we have limited control over management decisions and our interests in such assets may be subject to transfer or other related restrictions.

We may seek to acquire additional assets in the future in which we own less than a majority of the related interests in the assets. In these investments, we will seek to exert a degree of influence with respect to the management and operation of assets in which we own less than a majority of the interests by negotiating to obtain positions on management committees or to receive certain limited governance rights, such as rights to veto significant actions. However, we may not always succeed in such negotiations, and we may be dependent on our co-venturers to operate such assets. Our co-venturers may not have the level of experience, technical expertise, human resources management and other attributes necessary to operate these assets optimally. In addition, conflicts of interest may arise in the future between us and our stockholders, on the one hand, and our co-venturers, on the other hand, where our co-venturers’ business interests are inconsistent with our interests and those of our stockholders. Further, disagreements or disputes between us and our co-venturers could result in litigation, which could increase our expenses and potentially limit the time and effort our officers and directors are able to devote to our business.

The approval of co-venturers also may be required for us to receive distributions of funds from assets or to sell, pledge, transfer, assign or otherwise convey our interest in such assets, or for us to acquire our Sponsor’s interests in such co-ventures as an initial matter. Alternatively, our co-venturers may have rights of first refusal or rights of first offer in the event of a proposed sale or transfer of our interests in such assets. These restrictions may limit the price or interest level for our interests in such assets, in the event we want to sell such interests.

 

50


Table of Contents

Certain PPAs signed in connection with our utility-scale business are subject to public utility commission approval, and such approval may not be obtained or may be delayed.

As a solar energy provider in the United States, the PPAs associated with our utility-scale projects are generally subject to approval by the applicable state public utility commission. It cannot be assured that such public utility commission approval will be obtained, and in certain markets, including California and Nevada, the public utility commissions have recently demonstrated a heightened level of scrutiny on solar energy purchase agreements that have come before them for approval. If the required public utility commission approval is not obtained for any particular PPA, the utility counterparty may exercise its right to terminate such PPA, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We may not be able to replace expiring PPAs with contracts on similar terms. If we are unable to replace an expired distributed generation PPA with an acceptable new contract, we may be required to remove the solar energy assets from the site or, alternatively, we may sell the assets to the site host.

We may not be able to replace an expiring PPA with a contract on equivalent terms and conditions, including at prices that permit operation of the related facility on a profitable basis. If we are unable to replace an expiring PPA with an acceptable new project, the affected site may temporarily or permanently cease operations. In the case of a distributed generation project that ceases operations, the PPA terms generally require that we remove the assets, including fixing or reimbursing the site owner for any damages caused by the assets or the removal of such assets. The cost of removing a significant number of distributed generation projects could be material. Alternatively, we may agree to sell the assets to the site owner, but we can offer no assurances as to the terms and conditions, including price, that we would receive in any sale, and the sale price may not be sufficient to replace the revenue previously generated by the project.

The accounting treatment for many aspects of our solar energy business is complex and any changes to the accounting interpretations or accounting rules governing our solar energy business could have a material adverse effect on our GAAP reported results of operations and financial results.

The accounting treatment for many aspects of our solar energy business is complex, and our future results could be adversely affected by changes in the accounting treatment applicable to our solar energy business. In particular, any changes to the accounting rules regarding the following matters may require us to change the manner in which we operate and finance our solar energy business:

 

    revenue recognition and related timing;

 

    intra-company contracts;

 

    operation and maintenance contracts;

 

    joint venture accounting, including the consolidation of joint venture entities and the inclusion or exclusion of their assets and liabilities on our balance sheet;

 

    long-term vendor agreements; and

 

    foreign holding company tax treatment.

 

51


Table of Contents

Negative public or community response to solar energy projects could adversely affect construction of our projects.

Negative public or community response to solar energy projects could adversely affect our ability to construct and operate our projects. Among concerns often cited by local community and other interest groups are objections to the aesthetic effect of plants on rural sites near residential areas, reduction of farmland and the possible displacement or disruption of wildlife. We expect this type of opposition to continue as we construct existing and future projects. It is possible that we may also face resistance from aboriginal communities in connection with any proposed expansion onto sites that may be subject to land claims. Opposition to our requests for permits or successful challenges or appeals to permits issued to us could lead to legal, public relations and other drawbacks and costs that impede our ability to meet our growth targets, achieve commercial operations for a project on schedule and generate revenues.

The seasonality of our operations may affect our liquidity.

We will need to maintain sufficient financial liquidity to absorb the impact of seasonal variations in energy production or other significant events. Following the completion of this offering, we expect that our principal source of liquidity will be cash generated from our operating activities, the cash retained by us for working capital purposes out of the gross proceeds of this offering and borrowing capacity under our Term Loan and Revolver. Our quarterly results of operations may fluctuate significantly for various reasons, mostly related to economic incentives and weather patterns.

The amount of electricity our solar power generation assets produce is dependent in part on the amount of sunlight, or irradiation, where the assets are located. Because shorter daylight hours in winter months results in less irradiation, the generation of particular assets will vary depending on the season. Additionally, to the extent more of our power generation assets are located in the northern or southern hemisphere, overall generation of our entire asset portfolio could be impacted by seasonality. We expect our initial portfolio of power generation assets to generate the lowest amount of electricity during the fourth quarter of each year. As a result, we expect our revenue and cash available for distribution to be lower during the fourth quarter. However, we expect aggregate seasonal variability to decrease if geographic diversity of our portfolio between the northern and southern hemisphere increases.

In addition, in Canada, the construction of solar energy systems may be concentrated during the second half of the calendar year, largely due to periodic reductions of the applicable minimum feed-in tariff and the fact that the coldest winter months are January through March, which impacts the amount of construction that occurs. In the United States, customers will sometimes make purchasing decisions towards the end of the year in order to take advantage of tax credits or for other budgetary reasons. If we fail to adequately manage the fluctuations in the timing of our projects, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially affected. The seasonality of our energy production may create increased demands on our working capital reserves and borrowing capacity under our Term Loan or Revolver during periods where cash generated from operating activities are lower. In the event that our working capital reserves and borrowing capacity under our Term Loan or Revolver are insufficient to meet our financial requirements, or in the event that the restrictive covenants in our Term Loan or Revolver restrict our access to such facilities, we may require additional equity or debt financing to maintain our solvency. There can be no assurance that additional equity or debt financing will be available when required or available on commercially favorable terms or on terms that are otherwise satisfactory to us, in which event our financial condition may be materially adversely affected.

 

52


Table of Contents

Changes in tax laws may limit the current benefits of solar energy investment.

We face risks related to potential changes in tax laws that may limit the current benefits of solar energy investment. As discussed below in “Industry—Government Incentives for Solar Energy,” government incentives provide significant support for renewable energy sources such as solar energy, and a decrease in these tax benefits could increase the costs of investment in solar energy. For example, in 2013 the Czech Republic and Spain announced retroactive taxes for solar energy producers. If these types of changes are enacted in other countries as well, the costs of solar energy may increase.

Risks Related to our Relationship with Our Sponsor

Our Sponsor will be our controlling stockholder and will exercise substantial influence over Yieldco, and we are highly dependent on our Sponsor.

Our Sponsor will beneficially own all of our outstanding Class B common stock upon completion of this offering. Each share of our outstanding Class B common stock will entitle our Sponsor to 10 votes on all matters presented to our stockholders generally. As a result of its ownership of our Class B common stock, our Sponsor will possess approximately     % (or approximately     % if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock) of the combined voting power of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock even though our Sponsor will own only         % of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock on a combined basis. Our Sponsor has also expressed its intention to maintain a controlling interest in us. As a result of this ownership, our Sponsor will continue to have a substantial influence on our affairs and its voting power will constitute a large percentage of any quorum of our stockholders voting on any matter requiring the approval of our stockholders. Such matters include the election of directors, the adoption of amendments to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws and approval of mergers or sale of all or substantially all of our assets. This concentration of ownership may also have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control of our company or discouraging others from making tender offers for our shares, which could prevent stockholders from receiving a premium for their shares. In addition, our Sponsor, for so long as it and its controlled affiliates possesses a majority of the combined voting power, will have the power to appoint all of our directors. Our Sponsor may cause corporate actions to be taken even if their interests conflict with the interests of our other stockholders (including holders of our Class A common stock). See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Procedures for Review, Approval and Ratification of Related-Person Transactions; Conflicts of Interest.”

Furthermore, we will depend on the management and administration services provided by or under the direction of our Sponsor under the Management Services Agreement. Other than personnel designated as dedicated to us, SunEdison personnel and support staff that provide services to us under the Management Services Agreement will not be required to, and we do not expect that they will, have as their primary responsibility the management and administration of our business or to act exclusively for us. Under the Management Services Agreement, our Sponsor will have the discretion to determine which of its employees, other than the designated Yieldco personnel, will perform assignments required to be provided to us under the Management Services Agreement. Any failure to effectively manage our operations or to implement our strategy could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. The Management Services Agreement will continue in perpetuity, until terminated in accordance with its terms.

The Support Agreement provides us the option to purchase additional solar projects that have Projected FTM CAFD of at least $75.0 million during 2015 and $100.0 million during 2016,

 

53


Table of Contents

representing aggregate additional Projected FTM CAFD of $175.0 million. The Support Agreement also provides us a right of first offer with respect to the ROFO Projects. Additionally, we will depend upon our Sponsor for the provision of management and administration services at all of our facilities. Any failure by our Sponsor to perform its requirements under these arrangements or the failure by us to identify and contract with replacement service providers, if required, could adversely affect the operation of our facilities and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We may not be able to consummate future acquisitions from our Sponsor.

Our ability to grow through acquisitions depends, in part, on our Sponsor’s ability to identify and present us with acquisition opportunities. While SunEdison established our company to hold and acquire a diversified suite of power generating assets, there are a number of factors which could materially and adversely impact the extent to which suitable acquisition opportunities are made available from our Sponsor.

In particular, the question of whether a particular asset is suitable is highly subjective and is dependent on a number of factors, including an assessment by our Sponsor relating to our liquidity position at the time, the risk profile of the opportunity and its fit with the balance of our portfolio. If our Sponsor determines that an opportunity is not suitable for us, it may still pursue such opportunity on its own behalf.

In making these determinations, our Sponsor may be influenced by factors that result in a misalignment or conflict of interest. See “Risks Related to our Business—We may not be able to effectively identify or consummate any future acquisitions on favorable terms, or at all. Additionally, even if we generally consummate acquisitions they may not provide the benefits or results we expected.

The departure of some or all of our Sponsor’s employees, particularly executive officers or key employees, could prevent us from achieving our objectives.

Our growth strategy relies on our and our Sponsor’s executive officers and key employees for their strategic guidance and expertise in the selection of projects that we may acquire in the future. Because the solar power industry is relatively new, there is a scarcity of experienced executives and employees in the solar power industry. Our future success will depend on the continued service of these individuals. Our Sponsor has experienced departures of key professionals and personnel in the past and may do so in the future, and we cannot predict the impact that any such departures will have on our ability to achieve our objectives. The departure of a significant number of our Sponsor’s professionals or a material portion of its employees who perform services for us or on our behalf, or the failure to appoint qualified or effective successors in the event of such departures, could have a material adverse effect on our ability to achieve our objectives. The Management Services Agreement will not require our Sponsor to maintain the employment of any of its professionals or, except with respect to the dedicated Yieldco personnel, to cause any particular professional to provide services to us or on our behalf and our Sponsor may terminate the employment of any professional without any consultation of prior notice to us.

Our organizational and ownership structure may create significant conflicts of interest that may be resolved in a manner that is not in our best interests or the best interests of holders of our Class A common stock and that may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our organizational and ownership structure involves a number of relationships that may give rise to certain conflicts of interest between us and holders of our Class A common stock, on the one hand,

 

54


Table of Contents

and our Sponsor, on the other hand. Immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, we will enter into a Management Services Agreement with our Sponsor. Our executive officers will be employees of our Sponsor and certain of them will continue to have equity interests in our Sponsor and, accordingly, the benefit to our Sponsor from a transaction between us and our Sponsor will proportionately inure to their benefit as holders of equity interests in our Sponsor. Following the completion of this offering, our Sponsor will be a related party under the applicable securities laws governing related party transactions and may have interests which differ from our interests or those of holders of our Class A common stock, including with respect to the types of acquisitions made, the timing and amount of dividends by Yieldco, the reinvestment of returns generated by our operations, the use of leverage when making acquisitions and the appointment of outside advisors and service providers. Any material transaction between us and our Sponsor (including the acquisition of the Call Right Projects and any ROFO Projects) will be subject to our related party transaction policy, which will require prior approval of such transaction by our Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committee, as discussed in “Management—Committees of the Board of Directors—Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committee.” Those of our executive officers who will continue to have economic interests in our Sponsor following the completion of this offering may be conflicted when advising our Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committee or otherwise participating in the negotiation or approval of such transactions. These executive officers have significant project- and industry-specific expertise that could prove beneficial to our Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committee’s decision-making process and the absence of such strategic guidance could have a material adverse effect on the committee’s ability evaluate any such transaction. Furthermore, the creation of our Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committee and our related party transaction approval policy may not insulate us from derivative claims related to related party transactions and the conflicts of interest described in this risk factor. Regardless of the merits of such claims, we may be required to expend significant management time and financial resources in the defense thereof. Additionally, to the extent we fail to appropriately deal with any such conflicts, it could negatively impact our reputation and ability to raise additional funds and the willingness of counterparties to do business with us, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our ability to terminate the Management Services Agreement early will be limited.

The Management Services Agreement will provide that we may terminate the agreement upon 30 days prior written notice to our Sponsor upon the occurrence of any of the following: (i) our Sponsor defaults in the performance or observance of any material term, condition or covenant contained therein in a manner that results in material harm to us and the default continues unremedied for a period of 30 days after written notice thereof is given to our Sponsor; (ii) our Sponsor engages in any act of fraud, misappropriation of funds or embezzlement that results in material harm to us; (iii) our Sponsor is grossly negligent in the performance of its duties under the agreement and such negligence results in material harm to us; (iv) upon the happening of certain events relating to the bankruptcy or insolvency of our Sponsor; (v) upon the earlier to occur of the four-year anniversary of the date of the agreement and the end of any 12 month period ending on the last day of a calendar quarter during which we generated cash available for distribution in excess of $350 million; and (vi) on such date as our Sponsor and its affiliates no longer beneficially hold more than 50% of the voting power of our capital stock. Furthermore, if we request an amendment to the scope of services provided by our Sponsor under the Management Services Agreement and we are not able to agree with our Sponsor as to a change to the service fee resulting from a change in the scope of services within 180 days of the request, we will be able terminate the agreement upon 30 days’ prior notice to our Sponsor.

We will not be able to terminate the agreement for any other reason, including if our Sponsor experiences a change of control, and the agreement continues in perpetuity, until terminated in accordance with its terms. If our Sponsor’s performance does not meet the expectations of investors,

 

55


Table of Contents

and we are unable to terminate the Management Services Agreement, the market price of our Class A common stock could suffer.

If our Sponsor terminates the Management Services Agreement or defaults in the performance of its obligations under the agreement we may be unable to contract with a substitute service provider on similar terms, or at all.

We will rely on our Sponsor to provide us with management services under the Management Services Agreement and will not have independent executive, senior management or other personnel. The Management Services Agreement will provide that our Sponsor may terminate the agreement upon 180 days prior written notice of termination to us if we default in the performance or observance of any material term, condition or covenant contained in the agreement in a manner that results in material harm and the default continues unremedied for a period of 30 days after written notice of the breach is given to us. If our Sponsor terminates the Management Services Agreement or defaults in the performance of its obligations under the agreement, we may be unable to contract with a substitute service provider on similar terms or at all, and the costs of substituting service providers may be substantial. In addition, in light of our Sponsor’s familiarity with our assets, a substitute service provider may not be able to provide the same level of service due to lack of pre-existing synergies. If we cannot locate a service provider that is able to provide us with substantially similar services as our Sponsor does under the Management Services Agreement on similar terms, it would likely have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows.

Our Sponsor may offer to third parties or remove Call Right Projects identified in the Support Agreement and we must still agree on a number of additional matters covered by the Support Agreement.

Pursuant to the Support Agreement, our Sponsor will provide us with the right, but not the obligation, to purchase for cash certain solar projects from its project pipeline with aggregate Projected FTM CAFD of at least $175.0 million by the end of 2016. The Support Agreement identifies certain of the Call Right Projects, which we believe will collectively satisfy a majority of the total Projected FTM CAFD commitment. Our Sponsor may, however, remove a project from the Call Right Project list effective upon notice to us, if, in its reasonable discretion, a project is unlikely to be successfully completed. In that case, the Sponsor will be required to replace such project with one or more additional reasonably equivalent projects that have a similar economic profile.

The Support Agreement also provides that our Sponsor is required to offer us additional qualifying Call Right Projects from its pipeline on a quarterly basis until we have been acquired Call Right Projects that are projected to generate the specified minimum amount of Projected FTM CAFD for each of the periods covered by the Support Agreement. These additional Call Right Projects must satisfy certain criteria, include being subject to a fully-executed PPA with a counterparty that, in our reasonable discretion, is credit-worthy. The price for each Call Right Project will be the fair market value. The Support Agreement provides that we will work with our Sponsor to mutually agree on the fair market value and Projected FTM CAFD of each Call Right Project within a reasonable time after it is added to the list of identified Call Right Projects. If we are unable to agree on the fair market value or Projected FTM CAFD for a project within 90 calendar days after it is added to the list, we or our Sponsor, upon written notice from either party, will engage a third party advisor to determine the disputed item. The other economic terms with respect to our purchase of a Call Right Project will also be determined by mutual agreement or, if we are unable to reach agreement, by a third-party advisor. We may not achieve all of the expected benefits from the Support Agreement if we are unable to mutually agree with our Sponsor with respect to these matters. Until the price for a Call Right Asset is agreed or determined, our Sponsor will have the right to offer and sell that Call Right Asset to third parties, subject to our right to match any price offered by any third party and acquire such Call Right

 

56


Table of Contents

Project on the terms our Sponsor could obtain from the third party. In addition, our effective remedies under the Support Agreement may also be limited in the event that a material dispute with our Sponsor arises under the terms of the Support Agreement.

In addition, our Sponsor has agreed to grant us a right of first offer on any of the ROFO Projects that it determines to sell or otherwise transfer during the five-year period following the completion of this offering. Under the terms of the Support Agreement, our Sponsor will agree to negotiate with us in good faith, for a period of 30 days, to reach an agreement with respect to any proposed sale of a ROFO Project for which we have exercised our right of first offer before it may sell or otherwise transfer such ROFO Project to a third party. However, our Sponsor will not be obligated to sell any of the ROFO Projects and, as a result, we do not know when, if ever, any ROFO Projects will be offered to us. Furthermore, in the event that our Sponsor elects to sell ROFO Projects, our Sponsor will not be required to accept any offer we make and may choose to sell the assets to a third party or not sell the assets at all.

The liability of our Sponsor is limited under our arrangements with it and we have agreed to indemnify our Sponsor against claims that it may face in connection with such arrangements, which may lead it to assume greater risks when making decisions relating to us than it otherwise would if acting solely for its own account.

Under the Management Services Agreement, our Sponsor will not assume any responsibility other than to provide or arrange for the provision of the services described in the Management Services Agreement in good faith. In addition, under the Management Services Agreement, the liability of our Sponsor and its affiliates will be limited to the fullest extent permitted by law to conduct involving bad faith, fraud, willful misconduct or gross negligence or, in the case of a criminal matter, action that was known to have been unlawful. In addition, we will agree to indemnify our Sponsor to the fullest extent permitted by law from and against any claims, liabilities, losses, damages, costs or expenses incurred by an indemnified person or threatened in connection with our operations, investments and activities or in respect of or arising from the Management Services Agreement or the services provided by our Sponsor, except to the extent that the claims, liabilities, losses, damages, costs or expenses are determined to have resulted from the conduct in respect of which such persons have liability as described above. These protections may result in our Sponsor tolerating greater risks when making decisions than otherwise would be the case, including when determining whether to use leverage in connection with acquisitions. The indemnification arrangements to which our Sponsor is a party may also give rise to legal claims for indemnification that are adverse to Yield and holders of our Class A common stock.

Risks Inherent in an Investment in Us

We may not be able to continue paying comparable or growing cash dividends to holders of our Class A common stock in the future.

The amount of our cash available for distribution principally depends upon the amount of cash we generate from our operations, which will fluctuate from quarter to quarter based on, among other things:

 

    the level and timing of capital expenditures we make;

 

    the completion of our ongoing construction activities on time and on budget;

 

    the level of our operating and general and administrative expenses, including reimbursements to our Sponsor for services provided to us in accordance with the Management Services Agreement;

 

57


Table of Contents
    seasonal variations in revenues generated by the business;

 

    our debt service requirements and other liabilities;

 

    fluctuations in our working capital needs;

 

    our ability to borrow funds and access capital markets;

 

    restrictions contained in our debt agreements (including our project-level financing and, if applicable, our Revolver); and

 

    other business risks affecting our cash levels.

As a result of all these factors, we cannot guarantee that we will have sufficient cash generated from operations to pay a specific level of cash dividends to holders of our Class A common stock. Furthermore, holders of our Class A common stock should be aware that the amount of cash available for distribution depends primarily on our cash flow, and is not solely a function of profitability, which is affected by non-cash items. We may incur other expenses or liabilities during a period that could significantly reduce or eliminate our cash available for distribution and, in turn, impair our ability to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock during the period. Because we are a holding company, our ability to pay dividends on our Class A common stock is limited by restrictions on the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other distributions to us, including restrictions under the terms of the agreements governing project-level financing. Our project-level financing agreements generally prohibit distributions from the project entities prior to COD and thereafter prohibit distributions to us unless certain specific conditions are met, including the satisfaction of financial ratios. Our Term Loan and Revolver will also restrict our ability to declare and pay dividends if an event of default has occurred and is continuing or if the payment of the dividend would result in an event of default.

Yield LLC’s cash available for distribution will likely fluctuate from quarter to quarter, in some cases significantly, due to seasonality. See “Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Factors that Significantly Affect our Results of Operations and Business—Seasonality.” As result, we may cause Yield LLC to reduce the amount of cash it distributes to its members in a particular quarter to establish reserves to fund distributions to its members in future periods for which the cash distributions we would otherwise receive from Yield LLC would otherwise be insufficient to fund our quarterly dividend. If we fail to cause Yield LLC to establish sufficient reserves, we may not be able to maintain our quarterly dividend with respect to a quarter adversely affected by seasonality.

Finally, dividends to holders of our Class A common stock will be paid at the discretion of our board of directors. Our board of directors may decrease the level of or entirely discontinue payment of dividends. For a description of additional restrictions and factors that may affect our ability to pay cash dividends, please read “Cash Dividend Policy.”

The assumptions underlying the forecasts presented elsewhere in this prospectus are inherently uncertain and subject to significant business, economic, financial, regulatory and competitive risks that could cause our actual cash available for distribution to differ materially from our forecasts.

The forecasts presented elsewhere in this prospectus are based on our current portfolio of assets and were prepared using assumptions that our management believes are reasonable. See “Cash Dividend Policy—Assumptions and Considerations.” These include assumptions regarding the future operating costs of our facilities, our facilities’ future level of power generation, interest rates, administrative expenses, tax treatment of income, future capital expenditure requirements, budget and the absence of material adverse changes in economic conditions or government regulations. They also

 

58


Table of Contents

include assumptions based on solar resource studies that take into account meteorological conditions and on the availability of our facilities. The forecasts assume that no unexpected risks materialize during the forecast periods. Any one or more than one of these assumptions may prove to be incorrect, in which case our actual results of operations will be different from, and possibly materially worse than, those contemplated by the forecasts. There can be no assurance that the assumptions underlying the forecasts presented elsewhere in this prospectus will prove to be accurate. Actual results for the forecast periods will likely vary from the forecast results and those variations may be material. We make no representation that actual results achieved in the forecast periods will be the same, in whole or in part, as those forecasted herein.

We are a holding company and our only material asset after completion of this offering will be our interest in Yield LLC, and we are accordingly dependent upon distributions from Yield LLC and its subsidiaries to pay dividends and taxes and other expenses.

Yieldco is a holding company and has no material assets other than its ownership of membership interests in Yield LLC, a holding company that will have no material assets other than its interest in Yield Operating LLC, whose sole material assets are the ones contributed to it by SunEdison in the Initial Asset Transfer and the Organizational Transactions. Neither Yieldco, nor Yield LLC nor Yield Operating LLC has any independent means of generating revenue. We intend to cause Yield Operating LLC’s subsidiaries to make distributions to Yield Operating LLC and, in turn, make distributions to Yield LLC, and, in turn, to make distributions to Yieldco in an amount sufficient to cover all applicable taxes payable and dividends, if any, declared by us. To the extent that we need funds for a quarterly cash dividend to holders of our Class A common stock or otherwise, and Yield Operating LLC or Yield LLC is restricted from making such distributions under applicable law or regulation or is otherwise unable to provide such funds (including as a result of Yield Operating LLC’s operating subsidiaries being unable to make distributions), it could materially adversely affect our liquidity and financial condition and limit our ability to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock.

Market interest rates may have an effect on the value of our Class A common stock.

One of the factors that will influence the price of shares of our Class A common stock will be the effective dividend yield of such shares (i.e., the yield as a percentage of the then market price of our shares) relative to market interest rates. An increase in market interest rates, which are currently at low levels relative to historical rates, may lead prospective purchasers of shares of our Class A common stock to expect a higher dividend yield. If market interest rates increase and we are unable to increase our dividend in response, including due to an increase in borrowing costs, insufficient cash available for distribution or otherwise, investors may seek alternative investments with higher yield, which would result in selling pressure on, and a decrease in the market price of, our Class A common stock. As a result, the price of our Class A common stock may decrease as market interest rates increase.

If you purchase shares of Class A common stock sold in this offering, you will incur immediate and substantial dilution.

If you purchase shares of Class A common stock in this offering, you will incur immediate and substantial dilution in the amount of $         per share, because the assumed initial public offering price of $         (which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus) is substantially higher than the as adjusted net tangible book value per share of our outstanding Class A common stock on an as adjusted basis giving effect to the Organizational Transactions. The as adjusted net tangible book value of our Class A common stock is $         per share. For additional information, see “Dilution.”

 

59


Table of Contents

If we are deemed to be an investment company, we may be required to institute burdensome compliance requirements and our activities may be restricted, which may make it difficult for us to complete strategic acquisitions or effect combinations.

If we are deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, or the “Investment Company Act,” our business would be subject to applicable restrictions under the Investment Company Act, which could make it impracticable for us to continue our business as contemplated.

We believe our company is not an investment company under Section 3(b)(1) of the Investment Company Act because we are primarily engaged in a non-investment company business, and we intend to conduct our operations so that we will not be deemed an investment company. However, if we were to be deemed an investment company, restrictions imposed by the Investment Company Act, including limitations on our capital structure and our ability to transact with affiliates, could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated.

Market volatility may affect the price of our Class A common stock and the value of your investment.

Following the completion of this offering, the market price for our Class A common stock is likely to be volatile, in part because our shares have not been previously traded publicly. We cannot predict the extent to which a trading market will develop or how liquid that market may become. If you purchase shares of our Class A common stock in this offering, you will pay a price that was not established in the public trading markets. The initial public offering price will be determined by negotiations between the underwriters and us. You may not be able to resell your shares above the initial public offering price and may suffer a loss on your investment. In addition, the market price of our Class A common stock may fluctuate significantly in response to a number of factors, most of which we cannot predict or control, including general market and economic conditions, disruptions, downgrades, credit events and perceived problems in the credit markets; actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly operating results or dividends; changes in our investments or asset composition; write- downs or perceived credit or liquidity issues affecting our assets; market perception of our Sponsor, our business and our assets; our level of indebtedness and/or adverse market reaction to any indebtedness we incur in the future; our ability to raise capital on favorable terms or at all; loss of any major funding source; the termination of the Management Services Agreement or additions or departures of our Sponsor’s key personnel; changes in market valuations of similar power generation companies; and speculation in the press or investment community regarding us or our Sponsor.

In addition, securities markets in general have experienced extreme volatility that has often been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. Any broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the trading price of our Class A common stock.

We are a “controlled company,” controlled by our Sponsor, whose interest in our business may be different from ours or yours.

Each share of our Class B common stock will entitle our Sponsor or its controlled affiliates to 10 votes on matters presented to our stockholders generally. Following the completion of this offering, our Sponsor will own all of our Class B common stock, representing     % of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock on a combined basis and representing approximately     % of our combined voting power. Therefore, our Sponsor will control a majority of the vote on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders including the election of our directors, for the foreseeable future following this offering even if its ownership of our Class B common stock represents less than 50% of the outstanding Class A common stock and Class B common stock on a combined basis. As a result, we

 

60


Table of Contents

will be considered a “controlled company” for the purposes of the              listing requirements. As a “controlled company,” we will be permitted to, and we may opt out of the              listing requirements that would require (i) a majority of the members of our board of directors to be independent, (ii) that we establish a compensation committee and a nominating and governance committee, each comprised entirely of independent directors, or (iii) an annual performance evaluation of the nominating and corporate governance and compensation committees. We intend to rely on the exceptions with respect to having a majority of independent directors, a Compensation Committee and Nominating Committee consisting entirely of independent directors and annual performance evaluations of such committee.

The              listing requirements are intended to ensure that directors who meet the independence standard are free of any conflicting interest that could influence their actions as directors. As further described above in “—Risks Related to our Relationship with our Sponsor,” it is possible that the interests of our Sponsor may in some circumstances conflict with our interests and the interests of holders of our Class A common stock. Should our Sponsor’s interests differ from those of other stockholders, the other stockholders may not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the corporate governance rules for publicly-listed companies. Our status as a controlled company could make our Class A common stock less attractive to some investors of otherwise harm our stock price.

Provisions of our charter documents or Delaware law could delay or prevent an acquisition of us, even if the acquisition would be beneficial to holders of our Class A common stock, and could make it more difficult for you to change management.

Provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws may discourage, delay or prevent a merger, acquisition or other change in control that holders of our Class A common stock may consider favorable, including transactions in which such stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares. This is because these provisions may prevent or frustrate attempts by stockholders to replace or remove members of our management. These provisions include:

 

    a prohibition on stockholder action through written consent once our Sponsor ceases to hold a majority of the voting power of our common stock;

 

    a requirement that special meetings of stockholders be called upon a resolution approved by a majority of our directors then in office;

 

    advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and nominations; and

 

    the authority of the board of directors to issue preferred stock with such terms as the board of directors may determine.

Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or the “DGCL,” prohibits a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a business combination with an interested stockholder, generally a person that together with its affiliates owns or within the last three years has owned 15% of voting stock, for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. As a result of these provisions in our charter documents following the completion of the Organizational Transactions and Delaware law, the price investors may be willing to pay in the future for shares of our Class A common stock may be limited. See “Description of Capital Stock—Antitakeover Effects of Delaware Law and our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws.”

Additionally, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will prohibit any person and any of its associate or affiliate companies in the aggregate, “public utility” (as defined in the FPA) or “holding company” with respect to an “electric utility company” (as defined in PUHCA) from acquiring,

 

61


Table of Contents

through this offering or in subsequent purchases other than secondary market transactions, an amount of our Class A common stock sufficient to result in either a transfer of control or to be deemed to, directly or indirectly, have merged or consolidated with us or our electric utility company subsidiaries without the prior written consent of our board of directors. While we do not anticipate that this offering will result in a transfer of control over any public utility owned by us, or be deemed to be, directly or indirectly, a merger or consolidation, with us or any of our electric utility company subsidiaries, any such change of control or merger or consolidation, in addition to prior approval from our board of directors, could require prior authorization from FERC. Similar restrictions may apply to certain purchasers of our securities which are “holding companies” (as defined in PUHCA) regardless of whether our securities are purchased in this offering, subsequent offerings by us or SunEdison, in open market transactions or otherwise. A purchaser of our securities which is a holding company will need to determine whether a given purchase of our securities may require prior FERC approval. See “Business—Regulatory Matters.”

You may experience dilution of your ownership interest due to the future issuance of additional shares of our Class A common stock.

We are in a capital intensive business, and may not have sufficient funds to finance the growth of our business, future acquisitions or to support our projected capital expenditures. As a result, we may require additional funds from further equity or debt financings, including tax equity financing transactions or sales of preferred shares or convertible debt to complete future acquisitions, expansions and capital expenditures and pay the general and administrative costs of our business. In the future, we may issue our previously authorized and unissued securities, resulting in the dilution of the ownership interests of purchasers of our Class A common stock offered hereby. Under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, we will be authorized to issue              shares of Class A common stock,              shares of Class B common stock and              shares of preferred stock with preferences and rights as determined by our board of directors. The potential issuance of additional shares of common stock or preferred stock or convertible debt may create downward pressure on the trading price of our Class A common stock. We may also issue additional shares of our Class A common stock or other securities that are convertible into or exercisable for our Class A common stock in future public offerings or private placements for capital raising purposes or for other business purposes, potentially at an offering price, conversion price or exercise price that is below the offering price for our Class A common stock in this offering.

If securities or industry analysts do not publish or cease publishing research or reports about us, our business or our market, or if they change their recommendations regarding our Class A common stock adversely, the stock price and trading volume of our Class A common stock could decline.

The trading market for our Class A common stock will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts may publish about us, our business, our market or our competitors. If any of the analysts who may cover us change their recommendation regarding our Class A common stock adversely, or provide more favorable relative recommendations about our competitors, the price of our Class A common stock would likely decline. If any analyst who may cover us were to cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause the stock price or trading volume of our Class A common stock to decline.

 

62


Table of Contents

There is no existing market for our Class A common stock, and we do not know if one will develop with adequate liquidity to sell our Class A common stock at prices equal to or greater than the offering price.

Prior to this offering, there has not been a public market for our Class A common stock. We cannot predict the extent to which investor interest in our company will lead to the development of an active trading market on any stock exchange or otherwise or how liquid that market might become. If an active trading market does not develop, you may have difficulty selling our Class A common stock that you purchase in this offering. The initial public offering price for our Class A common stock was determined by negotiations between us, SunEdison and the underwriters and may not be indicative of prices that will prevail in the open market following this offering. Consequently, you may not be able to sell our Class A common stock at prices equal to or greater than the price you paid in this offering or at all.

Future sales of our common stock by our Sponsor may cause the price of our Class A common stock to fall.

The market price of our Class A common stock could decline as a result of sales by our Sponsor of such shares (issuable to our Sponsor upon the exchange of some or all of its Yield LLC Class B units) in the market, or the perception that these sales could occur. After the completion of this offering, we will have              shares of Class A common stock authorized and              shares of Class A common stock outstanding. The number of outstanding shares includes              shares of Class A common stock that we are selling in this offering, which may be resold immediately in the public market. All of the remaining shares of Class A common stock, or approximately              shares, or         % of our total outstanding shares of Class A common stock, and all of the outstanding shares of our Class B common stock, are restricted from immediate resale under the lock-up agreements entered into between the holders thereof, including our Sponsor and executive officers, and the underwriters as described in “Underwriting (Conflicts of Interest).” These shares (including shares of Class A common stock issuable to our Sponsor upon the exchange of some or all of its Yield LLC Class B units) will become available for sale following the expiration of the lock-up agreements, which, without the prior consent of the underwriters, is 180 days after the date of the closing of this offering, subject to compliance with the applicable requirements under Rule 144 of the U.S. Securities Act.

The market price of our Class A common stock may also decline as a result of our Sponsor disposing or transferring some or all of our outstanding Class B common stock, which disposals or transfers would reduce our Sponsor’s ownership interest in, and voting control over, us. These sales might also make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities at a time and price that we deem appropriate.

Our Sponsor and certain of its affiliates have certain demand and piggyback registration rights with respect to shares of our Class A common stock issuable upon the exchange of Yield LLC’s Class B units. The presence of additional shares of our Class A common stock trading in the public market, as a result of the exercise of such registration rights may have a material adverse effect on the market price of our securities. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Registration Rights Agreement.”

We will incur increased costs as a result of being a publicly traded company.

As a public company, we will incur additional legal, accounting and other expenses that have not been reflected in our predecessor’s historical financial statements or our pro forma financial statements. In addition, rules implemented by the SEC and the applicable stock exchange have imposed various requirements on public companies, including establishment and maintenance of

 

63


Table of Contents

effective disclosure and financial controls and changes in corporate governance practices. Our management and other personnel will need to devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. These rules and regulations result in our incurring legal and financial compliance costs and will make some activities more time-consuming and costly. For example, we expect these rules and regulations to make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. As a result, it may be more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified people to serve on our board of directors, our board committees or as executive officers.

Initially, our legal, accounting and other expenses relating to being a publicly traded company will be paid for by our Sponsor under the Management Services Agreement. The Management Services Agreement does not have a fixed term, but may be terminated by us in certain circumstances, including upon the earlier to occur of (i) the four-year anniversary of the date of the agreement and (ii) the end of any 12-month period ending on the last day of a calendar quarter during which we generated cash available for distribution in excess of $350 million. Following the termination of the Management Services Agreement we will be required to pay for these expenses directly.

Our failure to achieve and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as a public company could have a material adverse effect on our business and share price.

Prior to completion of this offering, we have not operated as a public company and have not had to independently comply with Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We anticipate being required to meet these standards in the course of preparing our financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2014, and our management will be required to report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for such year. Additionally, once we are no longer an emerging growth company, as defined by the JOBS Act, our independent registered public accounting firm will be required pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting on an annual basis. The rules governing the standards that must be met for our management to assess our internal control over financial reporting are complex and require significant documentation, testing and possible remediation.

Internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. We are currently in the process of reviewing, documenting and testing our internal control over financial reporting, but we are not currently in compliance with, and we cannot be certain when we will be able to implement the requirements of Section 404(a). We may encounter problems or delays in implementing any changes necessary to make a favorable assessment of our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, we may encounter problems or delays in completing the implementation of any requested improvements and receiving a favorable attestation in connection with the attestation to be provided by our independent registered public accounting firm after we cease to be an emerging growth company. If we cannot favorably assess the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to provide an unqualified attestation report on our internal controls after we cease to be an emerging growth company, investors could lose confidence in our financial information and the price of our Class A common stock could decline.

Additionally, the existence of any material weakness or significant deficiency would require management to devote significant time and incur significant expense to remediate any such material weaknesses or significant deficiencies and management may not be able to remediate any such material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in a timely manner. The existence of any material

 

64


Table of Contents

weakness in our internal control over financial reporting could also result in errors in our financial statements that could require us to restate our financial statements, cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and cause shareholders to lose confidence in our reported financial information, all of which could materially and adversely affect our business and share price.

We are an “emerging growth company” and have elected in this prospectus, and may elect in future SEC filings, to comply with reduced public company reporting requirements, which could make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined by the JOBS Act. For as long as we continue to be an emerging growth company, we may choose to take advantage of exemptions from various public company reporting requirements. These exemptions include, but are not limited to, (i) not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, (ii) reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports, proxy statements and registration statements, and (iii) exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. In this prospectus, we have elected to take advantage of certain of the reduced disclosure obligations regarding financial statements and executive compensation. In addition, Section 107(b) of the JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. In other words, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We are choosing to “opt in” to such extended transition period election under Section 107(b). Therefore we are electing to delay adoption of new or revised accounting standards, and as a result, we may choose to not comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for non-emerging growth companies. As a result of such election, our financial statements may not be comparable to the financial statements of other public companies.

We could be an emerging growth company for up to five years after the first sale of our common equity securities pursuant to an effective registration statement under the Securities Act, which such fifth anniversary will occur in 2019. However, if certain events occur prior to the end of such five-year period, including if we become a “large accelerated filer,” our annual gross revenues exceed $1.0 billion or we issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt in any three-year period, we would cease to be an emerging growth company prior to the end of such five-year period. We have taken advantage of certain of the reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in this prospectus and may elect to take advantage of other reduced burdens in future filings. As a result, the information that we provide to holders of our Class A common stock may be different than you might receive from other public reporting companies in which you hold equity interests. We cannot predict if investors will find our Class A common stock less attractive as a result of our reliance on these exemptions. If some investors find our Class A common stock less attractive as a result of any choice we make to reduce disclosure, there may be a less active trading market for our Class A common stock and the price for our Class A common stock may be more volatile.

Under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We have elected to avail ourselves of this extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards and, therefore, we will not be subject to the same new or revised accounting standards as other public companies that are not emerging growth companies.

 

65


Table of Contents

Risks Related to Taxation

In addition to reading the following risk factors, if you are a non-U.S. investor, please read “Material United States Federal Income Tax Consequences to Non-U.S. Holders” for a more complete discussion of the expected material United States federal income tax consequences of owning and disposing of shares of our Class A common stock.

Our future tax liability may be greater than expected if we do not generate NOLs sufficient to offset taxable income.

We expect to generate NOLs and NOL carryforwards that we can utilize to offset future taxable income. Based on our current portfolio of assets that we expect will benefit from an accelerated tax depreciation schedule, and subject to tax obligations resulting from potential tax audits, we do not expect to pay significant United States federal income tax in the near term. However, in the event these losses are not generated as expected, are successfully challenged by the United States Internal Revenue Services, or “IRS,” (in a tax audit or otherwise), or are subject to future limitations as a result of an “ownership change” as discussed below, our ability to realize these future tax benefits may be limited. Any such reduction, limitation, or challenge may result in a material increase in our estimated future income tax liability and may negatively impact our business, financial condition and operating results.

Our ability to use NOLs to offset future income may be limited.

Our ability to use NOLs generated in the future could be substantially limited if we were to experience an “ownership change” as defined under Section 382 of the Code. In general, an ownership change occurs if the aggregate stock ownership of certain holders (generally 5% holders, applying certain look-through and aggregation rules) increases by more than 50% over such holders’ lowest percentage ownership over a rolling three-year period. If a corporation undergoes an ownership change, its ability to use its pre-change NOL carryforwards and other pre-change deferred tax attributes to offset its post-change income and taxes may be limited. Future sales of our Class A common stock by SunEdison, as well as future issuances by us, could contribute to a potential ownership change.

A valuation allowance may be required for our deferred tax assets.

Our expected NOLs will be reflected as a deferred tax asset as they are generated until utilized to offset income. Valuation allowances may need to be maintained for deferred tax assets that we estimate are more likely than not to be unrealizable, based on available evidence at the time the estimate is made. Valuation allowances related to deferred tax assets can be affected by changes to tax laws, statutory tax rates and future taxable income levels and based on input from our auditors, tax advisors or regulatory authorities. In the event that we were to determine that we would not be able to realize all or a portion of our net deferred tax assets in the future, we would reduce such amounts through a charge to income tax expense in the period in which that determination was made, which could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations and our ability to maintain profitability.

Distributions to holders of our Class A common stock may be taxable as dividends.

If we make distributions from current or accumulated earnings and profits as computed for U.S. federal income tax purposes, such distributions will generally be taxable to holders of our Class A common stock in the current period as ordinary dividend income for United States federal income tax purposes, eligible under current law for the lower tax rates applicable to qualified dividend income of non-corporate taxpayers. While we expect that a portion of our distributions to holders of our Class A common stock may exceed our current and accumulated earnings and profits as computed for United

States federal income tax purposes and therefore constitute a non-taxable return of capital to the extent of a holder’s basis in our Class A common stock, no assurance can be given that this will occur.

 

66


Table of Contents

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this prospectus are forward-looking statements. These statements relate to analyses and other information, which are based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These statements also relate to our future prospects, developments and business strategies. These forward-looking statements are identified by the use of terms and phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “will” and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions. However, these words are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. These statements are contained in many sections of this prospectus, including those entitled “Prospectus Summary,” “Cash Dividend Policy,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Business.” Although we believe that our plans, intentions and expectations reflected in or suggested by such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot assure you that we will achieve those plans, intentions or expectations. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that we expected.

Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations, or cautionary statements, are disclosed under the sections entitled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this prospectus. All written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us, or persons acting on our behalf, are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained in this prospectus under the heading “Risk Factors,” as well as other cautionary statements that are made from time to time in our other SEC filings and public communications. You should evaluate all forward-looking statements made in this prospectus in the context of these risks and uncertainties.

We caution you that the important factors referenced above may not contain all of the factors that are important to you. In addition, we cannot assure you that we will realize the results or developments we expect or anticipate or, even if substantially realized, that they will result in the consequences or affect us or our operations in the way we expect. The forward-looking statements included in this prospectus are made only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.

 

67


Table of Contents

USE OF PROCEEDS

Assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock, we expect to receive approximately $         million of proceeds from the sale of the Class A common stock offered hereby based upon the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions but before offering expenses (all of which will be paid by our Sponsor). If the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock, we estimate that the proceeds to us will be approximately $         million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions.

We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to acquire newly issued Class A units of Yield LLC, representing     % (or     % if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock in full) of Yield LLC’s outstanding membership units after this offering. Yield LLC will use such net proceeds, together with borrowings under the Term Loan, to repay all of our outstanding indebtedness under the Bridge Facility, $         million of project-level indebtedness and the remainder for general corporate purposes, which may include future acquisitions of solar assets from SunEdison pursuant to the Support Agreement or from unaffiliated third parties. As of the date of this prospectus, we have not identified any specific potential future acquisitions other than under the Support Agreement discussed elsewhere in this prospectus. Yieldco will not retain any net proceeds from this offering.

The Bridge Facility will have outstanding indebtedness of approximately $             million as of the completion of this offering. Indebtedness under the Bridge Facility bears interest at     % and matures on the earlier of August 28, 2015 and the date all loans under the Bridge Facility become due and payable in full thereunder, whether by acceleration or otherwise. The project-level indebtedness to be repaid with a portion of the net proceeds of this offering bears interest at     % and matures on                     .

Goldman, Sachs & Co.                      and/or its affiliates acted as arranger of, and is the administrative agent and lender under, our Bridge Facility. As a result, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and/or its affiliates may receive more than 5% of the net proceeds of this offering upon repayment of the Bridge Facility. Accordingly, this offering is being made in compliance with the requirements of FINRA Rule 5121. See “Underwriting (Conflicts of Interest).”

Our Sponsor will not receive any of the net proceeds or other consideration in connection with this offering, other than the Class B common stock and Class B units issued to SunEdison in the Offering Transactions (as described in ‘‘Summary—Organizational Transactions—Offering Transactions’’). The Class B common stock will not entitle our Sponsor to any economic interest in Yieldco and the Class B units will entitle our Sponsor, subject to the limitation on distributions to holders of Class B units during the Construction Forbearance Period, to a     % economic interest in Yield LLC.

 

68


Table of Contents

CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our predecessor’s cash and cash equivalents and consolidated capitalization as of December 31, 2013 on: (i) an historical basis; (ii) an as adjusted basis to give effect to the Formation Transactions; and (iii) an as further adjusted basis to give effect to the Offering Transactions, including this offering, and the application of the net proceeds of this offering in the manner set forth under the heading “Use of Proceeds.”

You should read the following table in conjunction with the sections entitled “Use of Proceeds,” “Selected Historical Combined Financial Data,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Description of Certain Indebtedness” and our combined consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     December 31, 2013  
     Actual     As Adjusted for
Formation
Transactions
     As Further
Adjusted for
Offering
Transactions
 
(in thousands except share data)                    

Cash and restricted cash

   $ 60,895      $         $                
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Long-term debt (including current portion):

       

Revolver(1)

   $      $        

Bridge Facility(2)(3)

                 

Term Loan(3)

                 

Project-level debt(4)

     345,612             
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total long-term debt (including current portion)

   $ 345,612             

Equity:

       

Net parent investment

   $ (8,824     

Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share, no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;         shares authorized and         shares issued and outstanding, as adjusted

                 

Class B common stock, par value $0.01 per share, no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;         shares authorized, and         shares issued and outstanding, as adjusted

                 

Preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share, no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;         authorized and no shares issued and outstanding, as adjusted

                 

Additional paid-in-capital

                 

Non-controlling interest

     12,778             
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total equity

     3,954        
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total capitalization

   $ 410,461      $         $     
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1) Concurrently with the completion of this offering, Yield Operating LLC plans to enter into the Revolver, which will provide for a revolving line of credit of $         million. The closing of our Revolver will be conditioned upon consummation of this offering, the implementation of our Organizational Transactions and other customary closing conditions.
(2) We entered into the Bridge Facility on March 28, 2014, which provides for borrowings of $250.0 million. Borrowings under the Bridge Facility will be used to finance the Initial Project Acquisitions prior to the completion of this offering.

 

69


Table of Contents
(3) Any borrowings that remain outstanding under the Bridge Facility after the completion of this offering will be refinanced under the Term Loan.
(4) Our project-level debt consists of: (i) $8,636 of term bonds consisting of four fixed rate facilities maturing between January 2016 and January 2031 with fixed interest rates ranging between 5.25% and 7.50%; (ii) $10,206 of solar program loans, which mature between September 2024 and October 2026 and bear interest at fixed rates ranging between 11.11% and 11.31%; (iii) $212,500 in non-recourse debt financing related to the construction of our Chile project; and (iv) $44,400 development loan that matures on March 31, 2016. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Sources of Liquidity—Project-Level Financing Arrangements.”

 

70


Table of Contents

DILUTION

Dilution is the amount by which the offering price paid by the purchasers of our Class A common stock sold in this offering will exceed the as adjusted net tangible book value per share of our Class A common stock after the offering. Net tangible book value per share of our Class A common stock as of a particular date represents the amount of our total tangible assets less our total liabilities divided by the number of shares of Class A common stock outstanding as of such date. As of December 31, 2013, after giving effect to the Formation Transactions, our net tangible book value would have been approximately $         million, or $         per share of Class A common stock, assuming that our Sponsor exchanged all of its Yield LLC Class B units for newly-issued shares of our Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis. Purchasers of our Class A common stock in this offering will experience substantial and immediate dilution in net tangible book value per share of our Class A common stock for financial accounting purposes, as illustrated in the following table.

 

Initial public offering price per share

      $               

Net tangible book value per share as of December 31, 2013 after giving effect to the Formation Transactions

   $                  

Increase in as adjusted net tangible book value per share attributable to purchasers in this offering

     
  

 

 

    

Net tangible book value per share after giving effect to the Organizational Transactions, including the offering and the use of proceeds therefrom

     
     

 

 

 

Immediate dilution in net tangible book value per share to purchasers in the offering

      $    
     

 

 

 

Because our Sponsor does not currently own any Class A common stock or other economic interest in us, we have presented dilution in net tangible book value per share of Class A common stock to investors in this offering assuming that our Sponsor exchanged its Yield LLC Class B units for newly-issued shares of our Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis in order to more meaningfully present the dilutive impact on the purchasers in this offering.

If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock in full, the net tangible book value per share after giving effect to the offering would be $         per share. This represents an increase in net tangible book value of $         per share to our existing stockholder and dilution in net tangible book value of $         per share to purchasers in this offering.

The following table sets forth, as of December 31, 2013, the differences among the number of shares of Class A common stock purchased, the total consideration paid or exchanged and the average price per share paid by our Sponsor and by purchasers of our Class A common stock in this offering, based on our initial public offering price of $         per share and assuming that our Sponsor exchanged all of its Yield LLC Class B units for shares of our Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis and no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock.

 

     Shares of Class A
Common Stock
    Total Consideration     Average Price  
     Number    Percent     Amount      Percent     Per Share  

Our Sponsor and affiliates(1)

               $                            $               

Purchasers in the offering

               $                            $               

 

(1) The assets contributed by our Sponsor in the Initial Asset Transfers will be recorded at historical cost. The book value of the consideration to be provided by our Sponsor in the Initial Asset Transfers as of December 31, 2013 was approximately $         million.

 

71


Table of Contents

CASH DIVIDEND POLICY

You should read the following discussion of our cash dividend policy in conjunction with “—Assumptions and Considerations” below, which includes the factors and assumptions upon which we base our cash dividend policy. In addition, you should read “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” for information regarding statements that do not relate strictly to historical or current facts and certain risks inherent in our business.

This forecast of future operating results and cash available for distribution in future periods is based on the assumptions described below and other assumptions believed by us to be reasonable as of the date of this prospectus. However, we cannot assure you that any or all of these assumptions will be realized. These forward-looking statements are based upon estimates and assumptions about circumstances and events that have not yet occurred and are subject to all of the uncertainties inherent in making projections. This forecast should not be relied upon as fact or as an accurate representation of future results. Future results will be different from this forecast and the differences may be materially less favorable.

For additional information regarding our historical combined consolidated results of operations, you should refer to our audited historical combined consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013 included elsewhere in this prospectus.

General

We intend to pay regular quarterly cash dividends to holders of our Class A common stock. Our quarterly dividend will initially be set at $         per share of our Class A common stock, or $         per share on an annualized basis, and the amount may be changed in the future without advance notice. We established our initial quarterly dividend level based upon a targeted payout ratio by Yield LLC of approximately     % of projected annual cash available for distribution. We expect to pay a quarterly dividend on or about the     th day following the expiration of each fiscal quarter to holders of our Class A common stock of record on or about the     th day following the last day of such fiscal quarter. With respect to our first dividend payable on                     , 2014 to holders of record on                     , 2014, assuming a completion date of                     , 2014, we intend to pay a pro-rated initial dividend of $         per share.

Yield LLC will distribute its CAFD pro rata, based on the number of units held, to us as the sole holder of the Class A units and to our Sponsor as the sole holder of the Class B units. However, our Sponsor has agreed to forego any distributions paid on or prior to December 31, 2014. Our Sponsor has also agreed to a reduction of distributions it would otherwise be entitled to receive on or after January 1, 2015 until the projects under construction and included in our initial portfolio (or agreed to substitute projects) reach COD. The amount of the reduction is based on the percentage projected cash available for distribution attributable to such projects that have not achieved COD. We use the term “Construction Forbearance Period” to refer to the period of time in which our Sponsor has agreed to forego all or a portion of the distributions from Yield LLC it would otherwise be entitled to receive. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of Yield LLC—Voting and Economic Rights of Members.”

Rationale for Our Dividend

We have established our initial quarterly dividend level after considering the amount of cash we expect to receive from Yield LLC as a result of our membership interest in Yield LLC after this offering. In accordance with its operating agreement and our capacity as the sole managing member, we intend

 

72


Table of Contents

to cause Yield LLC to make regular quarterly cash distributions to its members in an amount equal to cash available for distribution generated during a particular quarter, less reserves for working capital needs and the prudent conduct of our business, and to use the amount distributed to us to pay regular quarterly dividends to holders of our Class A common stock.

Our cash available for distribution is likely to fluctuate from quarter to quarter, in some cases significantly, as a result of the seasonality of our assets, and maintenance and outage schedules, among other factors. Accordingly, during quarters in which Yield LLC generates cash available for distribution in excess of the amount necessary to distribute to us to pay our stated quarterly dividend, we may cause it to reserve a portion of the excess to fund its cash distribution in future quarters. In quarters in which we do not generate sufficient cash available for distribution to fund our stated quarterly cash dividend, if our board of directors so determines, we may use sources of cash not included in our calculation of cash available for distribution, such as net cash provided by financing activities, receipts from network upgrade reimbursements from certain United States utility projects, all or any portion of the cash on hand or, if applicable, borrowings under our Revolver, to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock. Although these other sources of cash may be substantial and available to fund a dividend payment in a particular period, we exclude these items from our calculation of cash available for distribution because we consider them non-recurring or otherwise not representative of the operating cash flows we typically expect to generate.

Estimate of Future Cash Available for Distribution

We primarily considered forecasted cash available for distribution in assessing the amount of cash that we expect our assets will be able to generate for the purposes of our initial dividend. Accordingly, we believe that an understanding of cash available for distribution is useful to investors in evaluating our ability to pay dividends pursuant to our stated cash dividend policy. In general, we expect that “cash available for distribution” each quarter will equal net cash provided by (used in) operating activities of Yield LLC, calculated pursuant to GAAP,

 

    plus or minus changes in operating assets and liabilities,

 

    minus deposits into (or plus withdrawals from) restricted cash accounts required by project financing arrangements,

 

    minus cash distributions paid to non-controlling interests in our projects, if any,

 

    minus scheduled project-level and other debt service and payments and repayments in accordance with the related loan amortization schedules, to the extent they are paid from operating cash flows during a period,

 

    minus non-expansionary capital expenditures, if any, to the extent they are paid from operating cash flows during a period, and

 

    plus or minus other items as necessary to present the cash flows we deem representative of our core business operations.

Limitations on Cash Dividends and Our Ability to Change Our Cash Dividend Policy

There is no guarantee that we will pay quarterly cash dividends to holders of our Class A common stock. We do not have a legal obligation to pay our initial quarterly dividend or any other dividend. Our cash dividend policy may be changed at any time and is subject to certain restrictions and uncertainties, including the following:

 

   

As the sole managing member of Yield LLC, we and, accordingly, our board of directors will have the authority to establish, or cause Yield LLC to establish, cash reserves for working

 

73


Table of Contents
 

capital needs and the prudent conduct of our business, and the establishment of or increase in those reserves could result in a reduction in cash dividends from levels we currently anticipate pursuant to our stated cash dividend policy. These reserves may account for the fact that our project-level cash flows may vary from year to year based on, among other things, changes in prices under offtake agreements for energy and renewable energy credits and other environmental attributes, other project contracts, changes in regulated transmission rates, compliance with the terms of non-recourse project-level financing, including debt repayment schedules, the transition to market or recontracted pricing following the expiration of offtake agreements, domestic and international tax laws and tax rates, working capital requirements and the operating performance of the assets. Furthermore, our board of directors may increase, or cause Yield LLC to increase reserves to account for the seasonality that has historically existed in our assets cash flows and the variances in the pattern and frequency of distributions to us from our assets during the year.

 

    Prior to Yield LLC making any cash distributions to its members, Yield LLC will reimburse our Sponsor and its affiliates for certain governmental charges they incur on our behalf pursuant to the Management Services Agreement. Yield LLC’s operating agreement will not limit the amount of governmental charges for which our Sponsor and its affiliates may be reimbursed. The Management Services Agreement will provide that our Sponsor will determine in good faith the governmental charges that are allocable to us. Accordingly, the reimbursement of governmental charges and payment of fees, if any, to our Sponsor and its affiliates will reduce the amount of our cash available for distribution.

 

    Section 170 of the DGCL allows our board of directors to declare and pay dividends on the shares of our Class A common stock either:

 

    out of its surplus, as defined in and computed in accordance with the DGCL; or

 

    in case there shall be no such surplus, out of its net profits for the fiscal year in which the dividend is declared and/or the preceding fiscal year.

 

    We may lack sufficient cash to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock due to cash flow shortfalls attributable to a number of operational, commercial or other factors, including low availability, as well as increases in our operating and/or general and administrative expenses, principal and interest payments on our outstanding debt, income tax expenses, working capital requirements or anticipated cash needs at our project-level subsidiaries.

 

    Yield LLC’s cash distributions to us and, as a result, our ability to pay or grow our dividends is dependent upon the performance of our subsidiaries and their ability to distribute cash to us. The ability of our project-level subsidiaries to make cash distributions to Yield LLC may be restricted by, among other things, the provisions of existing and future indebtedness, applicable state corporation laws and other laws and regulations.

Our Ability to Grow our Business and Dividend

We intend to grow our business primarily through the acquisition of contracted clean power generation assets, which, we believe, will facilitate the growth of our cash available for distribution and enable us to increase our dividend per share over time. However, the determination of the amount of cash dividends to be paid to holders of our Class A common stock will be made by our board of directors and will depend upon our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, long-term prospects and any other matters that our board of directors deems relevant.

 

74


Table of Contents

We expect that we will rely primarily upon external financing sources, including commercial bank borrowings and issuances of debt and equity securities, to fund any future growth capital expenditures. To the extent we are unable to finance growth externally, our cash dividend policy could significantly impair our ability to grow because we do not currently intend to reserve a substantial amount of cash generated from operations to fund growth opportunities. If external financing is not available to us on acceptable terms, our board of directors may decide to finance acquisitions with cash from operations, which would reduce or even eliminate our cash available for distribution and, in turn, impair our ability to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock. To the extent we issue additional shares of capital stock to fund growth capital expenditures, the payment of dividends on those additional shares may increase the risk that we will be unable to maintain or increase our per share dividend level. There are no limitations in our bylaws or certificate of incorporation (other than a specified number of authorized shares), and there will not be any limitations under our Revolver, on our ability to issue additional shares of capital stock, including preferred stock that would have priority over our Class A common stock with respect to the payment of dividends. Additionally, the incurrence of additional commercial bank borrowings or other debt to finance our growth would result in increased interest expense, which in turn may impact our cash available for distribution and, in turn, our ability to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock.

Unaudited Pro Forma Cash Available for Distribution for the Year Ended December 31, 2013

If we had completed the Organizational Transactions on January 1, 2013, our unaudited cash available for distribution for the year ended December 31, 2013 would have been approximately $         million, of which $         million would have been distributed by Yield LLC to Yieldco as the holder of Class A units of Yield LLC. These amounts would have been insufficient to pay the full quarterly cash dividend on all of our Class A common stock to be outstanding immediately after consummation of this offering based on our initial quarterly dividend of $         per share of our Class A common stock per quarter (or $         per share on an annualized basis).

Our calculation of unaudited pro forma cash available for distribution includes the management fee payable to our Sponsor under the Management Services Agreement. Our calculation of unaudited pro forma cash available for distribution does not include any incremental general and administrative expenses as a result of being a publicly traded company, including costs associated with SEC reporting requirements, independent auditor fees, investor relations activities, stock exchange listing, registrar and transfer agent fees, incremental director and officer liability insurance and director compensation, because those expenses will be paid by our Sponsor under the Management Services Agreement. We estimate that these incremental general and administrative expenses initially would have been approximately $1.5 million per year, which we have estimated based on similar expenses incurred by our Sponsor during 2013 and cost estimates from third-party providers of services that would be incremental expenses for our business. Such expenses are not reflected in our unaudited combined consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.

Our unaudited combined consolidated financial statements, from which our unaudited cash available for distribution was derived, do not purport to present our results of operations had the transactions contemplated in this prospectus actually been completed as of the dates indicated. Furthermore, cash available for distribution is a cash accounting concept, while our predecessor’s historical financial statements were prepared on an accrual basis. We derived the amounts of unaudited cash available for distribution stated above in the manner shown in the table below. As a result, the amount of unaudited pro forma cash available should only be viewed as a general indicator of the amount of cash available for distribution that we might have generated had we been formed and completed the transactions contemplated in this prospectus in earlier periods.

 

75


Table of Contents

The footnote to the table below provides additional information about the adjustments and should be read along with the table.

 

(in thousands except per share data)    Pro Forma
Year Ended
December 31, 2013
 

Operating revenues

   $                

Operating costs and expenses:

  

Cost of operations

  

Depreciation and accretion

  

General and administration(1)

  
  

 

 

 

Total operating costs and expenses

  
  

 

 

 

Operating income

  

Interest expense, net

  
  

 

 

 

Income before income tax expense (benefit)

  

Income tax expense (benefit)

  
  

 

 

 

Net income

  

Less net income attributable to non-controlling interest

  
  

 

 

 

Net income attributable to Yieldco

   $     
  

 

 

 

Add:

  

Depreciation and accretion

  

Interest expense, net

  

Income tax expense (benefit)

  
  

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA(2)

   $     
  

 

 

 

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:

  

Net income

  

Non-cash incentive revenue

  

Non-cash interest expense

  

Depreciation and accretion

  

Amortization of deferred financing costs and debt discounts

  

Recognition of deferred revenue

  

Provision (benefit) for deferred taxes

  

Other

  

Changes in assets and liabilities

  
  

 

 

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

   $     
  

 

 

 

Adjustments to reconcile net cash provided by operating activities to cash available for distributions:

  

Net cash provided by operating activities

   $     

Changes in operating assets and liabilities

  

Deposits into/withdrawals from restricted cash accounts paid from operating cash flows

  

Cash distributions to non-controlling interests

  

Scheduled project-level and other debt service repayments

  

Non-expansionary capital expenditures(3)

  

Other items

  
  

 

 

 

Estimated cash available for distribution

   $                
  

 

 

 

Estimated cash available for distribution to holders of Class A common stock

   $                

Estimated aggregate annual dividend

   $                

Shares of Class A common stock

  

Estimated annual dividend per share of Class A common stock

   $                

 

76


Table of Contents

 

(1) We have reduced general and administrative expenses to give effect to the Management Services Agreement.
(2) Adjusted EBITDA and cash available for distribution are non-GAAP measures. You should not consider these measures as alternatives to net income (loss), determined in accordance with GAAP, or net cash provided by operating activities, determined in accordance with GAAP. For definitions of Adjusted EBITDA and cash available for distribution and a complete discussion of their limitations, see footnotes (1) and (2), respectively, under the heading “Summary Historical and Pro Forma Financial Data” elsewhere in this prospectus.
(3) Represents capital expenditures for maintenance and up-keep associated with our project portfolio.

Estimated Cash Available for Distribution for the Twelve Months Ending June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015

We forecast that our cash available for distribution during the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015 will be approximately $         million and $         million, respectively, of which we forecast $         million will be distributed by Yield LLC to Yieldco as the holder of Class A units of Yield LLC for the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and $         million for twelve months ending December 31, 2015. This amount (together with our other sources of liquidity) would be sufficient to pay our initial quarterly dividend of $         per share on all outstanding shares of our Class A common stock immediately after consummation of this offering for each quarter in the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015.

We are providing this forecast to supplement our predecessor’s historical combined consolidated financial statements and to support our belief that we will have sufficient cash available for distribution to allow Yield LLC to make distributions to Yieldco as the holder of Class A units of Yield LLC in amounts sufficient to allow Yieldco to pay a regular quarterly dividend on all of our outstanding Class A common stock immediately after consummation of this offering for each quarter in fiscal year 2014, at our initial quarterly dividend of $         per share (or $         per share on an annualized basis). Please read “—Assumptions and Considerations” for further information as to the assumptions we have made for the forecast.

Our forecast is a forward-looking statement and reflects our judgment as of the date of this prospectus of the conditions we expect to exist and the course of action we expect to take with respect to our initial portfolio of projects during each of the twelve-month periods ending June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015. Although acquisitions are an important part of our growth strategy, the forecast does not include the effects of, and we have not included any adjustments with respect to, any acquisitions we may complete during the period covered by our forecast. It should be read together with the historical combined financial statements and the accompanying notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” We believe that we have a reasonable basis for these assumptions and that our actual results of operations will approximate those reflected in our forecast, but we can give no assurance that our forecasted results will be achieved. The assumptions and estimates underlying the forecast, as described below under “—Assumptions and Considerations,” are inherently uncertain and, although we consider them reasonable as of the date of this prospectus, they are subject to a wide variety of significant business, economic, and competitive risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from forecasted results, including, among others, the risks and uncertainties described in “Risk Factors.” Any of the risks discussed in this prospectus, to the extent they occur, could cause actual results of operations to vary significantly from those that would enable us to generate sufficient cash available for distribution to allow Yield LLC to make distributions in amounts sufficient to allow us to pay the aggregate annualized regular quarterly dividend on all outstanding shares of our Class A common stock for the twelve-month periods ending June 30, 2015

 

77


Table of Contents

and December 31, 2015, calculated at the initial quarterly dividend rate of $         per share per quarter (or $         per share on an annualized basis). Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the forecast will be indicative of our future performance or that actual results will not differ materially from those presented in the forecast. If our forecasted results are not achieved, we may not be able to pay a regular quarterly dividend to holders of our Class A common stock at our initial quarterly dividend level or at all. Inclusion of the forecast in this prospectus should not be regarded as a representation by us, the underwriters or any other person that the results contained in the forecast will be achieved.

The accompanying forecast was not prepared with a view toward complying with the guidelines established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants with respect to prospective financial information. Neither our independent auditors, nor any other independent accountants, have compiled, examined or performed any procedures with respect to our forecast, nor have they expressed any opinion or any other form of assurance on our forecast or its achievability, and our independent auditors assume no responsibility for, and disclaim any association with, our forecast.

We do not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions or updates that we may make to the forecast or the assumptions used to prepare the forecast to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this prospectus. In light of this, the statement that we believe that we will have sufficient cash available for distribution (together with our other sources of liquidity) to allow Yield LLC to make distributions to Yieldco as the holder of Class A units of Yield LLC in amounts sufficient to allow Yieldco to pay the full regular quarterly dividend on all of our Class A common stock outstanding immediately after the consummation of this offering for each quarter in the twelve-month periods ending June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015 (based on our initial quarterly dividend rate of $         per share per quarter (or $         per share on an annualized basis)) should not be regarded as a representation by us, the underwriters or any other person that we will pay such dividends. Therefore, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this information.

 

78


Table of Contents

SunEdison Yieldco, Inc.

Estimated Cash Available for Distribution

 

     Twelve Months Ending  
(in thousands except per share data)    June 30, 2015      December 31, 2015  

Operating revenues

   $                    $                

Operating costs and expenses:

     

Cost of operations

     

Depreciation and accretion

     

General and administration(1)

     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total operating costs and expenses

     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Operating income

     

Interest expense, net

     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Income before income tax expense (benefit)

     

Income tax expense (benefit)

     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net income

     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Less net income attributable to non-controlling interest

     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net income attributable to Yieldco

   $         $     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Add:

     

Depreciation and accretion

     

Interest expense, net

     

Income tax expense (benefit)

     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA(2)

   $         $     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:

     

Net income

   $         $     

Non-cash incentive revenue

     

Non-cash interest expense

     

Depreciation and accretion

     

Amortization of deferred financing costs and debt discounts

     

Recognition of deferred revenue

     

Provision (benefit) for deferred taxes

     

Other

     

Changes in assets and liabilities

     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

   $         $     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Adjustments to reconcile net cash provided by operating activities to cash available for distributions:

     

Net cash provided by operating activities

   $         $     

Changes in operating assets and liabilities

     

Deposits into/withdrawals from restricted cash accounts

     

Cash distributions to non-controlling interests

     

Scheduled project-level and other debt service and repayments

     

Non-expansionary capital expenditures(3)

     

Other items

     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Estimated cash available for distribution

   $         $     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Estimated cash available for distribution to holders of Class A common stock

     

Estimated aggregate annual dividend

   $         $     

Shares of Class A common stock

     

Estimated annual dividend per share of Class A common stock

   $         $     

 

79


Table of Contents

 

(1) We have reduced general and administrative expenses to give effect to the Management Services Agreement.
(2) Adjusted EBITDA and cash available for distribution are non-GAAP measures. You should not consider these measures as alternatives to net income (loss), determined in accordance with GAAP, or net cash provided by operating activities, determined in accordance with GAAP. For definitions of Adjusted EBITDA and cash available for distribution and a complete discussion of their limitations, see footnotes (1) and (2), respectively, under the heading “Summary Historical and Pro Forma Financial Data” elsewhere in this prospectus.
(3) Represents capital expenditures for maintenance and up-keep associated with our project portfolio.

Assumptions and Considerations

Set forth below are the material assumptions that we have made to demonstrate our ability to generate our estimated Adjusted EBITDA and estimated cash available for distribution for each of the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015. The forecast has been prepared by and is the responsibility of our management. Our forecast reflects our judgment of the conditions we expect to exist and the course of action we expect to take during the forecast period. While the assumptions disclosed in this prospectus are not all inclusive, such assumptions are those that we believe are material to our forecasted results of operations. We believe we have a reasonable basis for these assumptions. We believe that our historical results of operations will approximate those reflected in our forecast. However, we can give no assurance that our forecasted results will be achieved. There will likely be differences between our forecasted and our historical results, and those differences may be material. If our forecast is not achieved, we may not be able to pay cash dividends on our Class A common stock at the initial quarterly dividend level or at all.

General Considerations

 

    The forecast assumes that in                      2014, we will raise net proceeds of $         million in this offering (after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions) through the issuance of         of our shares of Class A common stock at a price of $         per share. We have also assumed that immediately following the consummation of this offering, Yield LLC will have         Class A units and         Class B units outstanding and that all of such Class A units will be held by Yieldco. The forecast also assumes that the proceeds of this offering will be used as described in “Use of Proceeds” elsewhere in this prospectus and that in connection with the completion of this offering, the other transactions contemplated upon under the heading “Summary—Organizational Transactions” will have been consummated (other than the exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares).

 

    The historical period for the twelve months ended December 31, 2013 includes the results for our U.S. Distributed Generation Projects, which have a total nameplate capacity of 27.0 MW. The majority of these assets were operational for the full year ended December 31, 2013, except for 0.6 MW that achieved COD in March 2013, 1.3 MW that achieved COD in September 2013 and 3.3 MW that achieved COD in December 2013.

 

    The forecast periods include the results of Stonehenge and Norrington asset acquisitions in the United Kingdom and the Nellis acquisition in the U.S., which are included in our initial portfolio. The Stonehenge project reflects a portfolio of three solar energy projects, which we expect to reach COD in April, 2014. The Norrington project is expected to reach COD in April 2014. The Nellis project is an operational project acquired on March 28, 2014. These projects are not included in our historical financial results as we did not own them as of December 31, 2013.

 

80


Table of Contents
    The forecast periods include the results of Regulus Solar, U.S. Distributed Generation projects, North Carolina projects, SunE Perpetual Lindsey, Says Court, Crucis Farm, CAP and Massachusetts 2014 projects. These projects are expected to reach COD in 2014.

 

    Revenues reflect the terms specified in the fixed-priced PPAs for 100% of energy production. The electricity pricing used in the forecast is based on our expected annual electricity generation and long-term, contracted sales under PPAs, including renewable energy credits, or “RECs,” and renewables obligation certificates, or “ROCs.”

 

    Expenses are forecast based on historical experience, contracted service arrangements and other management estimates.

 

    The forecast assumes our projects will operate within budgeted operating costs, including with respect to operations and maintenance activities pursuant to our O&M agreements and that there will be no unusual, non-recurring or unexpected operating, repair or maintenance charges.

Total Operating Revenue

We estimate that we will generate total operating revenue of $         million for the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and $         million for the twelve months ending December 31, 2015, compared to $1.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2013. We estimate     % of total operating revenues will come from RECs and ROCs. This increase in our forecasted periods compared to the historical period is attributed to the additional generation contributed by the Stonehenge, Norrington and Nellis solar energy systems. We estimate that these systems will generate approximately      MWhs for the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 compared to approximately 23.7 MWhs for all of our assets for the year ended December 31, 2013 (which does not include any generation for Stonehenge, Norrington and Nellis as we did not own them at that time). We do not expect any changes to volume or prices as compared to historical periods.

Cost of Operations

We estimate that we will incur a cost for operations expense of $         million for the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and $         million for the twelve months ending December 31, 2015, compared to $0.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2013. This increase in our forecasted periods from the historical period is primarily attributed to the acquisitions of Stonehenge, Norrington and Nellis solar energy systems.

Depreciation, Amortization and Accretion

We estimate that we will incur depreciation and amortization expense of $         million for the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and $         million for the twelve months ending December 31, 2015 compared to $2.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2013. This increase in our forecasted periods from the historical period is primarily attributed to the addition of the Stonehenge, Norrington and Nellis solar energy systems. Forecasted depreciation, amortization and accretion expense reflects management’s estimates, which are based on consistent average depreciable asset lives and depreciation methodologies under GAAP. We have assumed that the average depreciable asset lives are 30 years for our solar energy systems.

General and Administration

We estimate that we will incur general and administration expenses of $         million for the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and $         for the twelve months ended December 31, 2015, compared to $3.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2013. These expenses include certain shared services and administrative expenses attributed to such assets for their operations and our management services payment to our Sponsor under the Management Services Agreement.

 

81


Table of Contents

Capital Expenditures

We estimate growth capital expenditures, which we define as costs and expenses associated with the acquisition of project assets from our Sponsor and third parties and capitalized expenditures on existing projects to expand capacity, of $         million for the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and $         million for the twelve months ending December 31, 2015, compared to $         million for the year ended December 31, 2013. The increase/decrease is primarily attributed to the Stonehenge and Norrington asset acquisitions.

Financing and Other

We estimate that interest expense will be $         million for the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and $         million for the twelve months ending December 31, 2015, compared to $2.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2013. The increase is primarily attributed to additional indebtedness borrowed under our Term Loan or Revolver. Forecasted interest expense is based on the following assumptions:

 

    we estimate that our debt level will be approximately $         million as of June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015; and

 

    we estimate that our borrowing costs will average     % and     % for the twelve-month periods ending June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015, respectively.

We estimate that principal amortization of indebtedness will be $         million for the twelve months ending June 30, 2015 and $         million for the twelve months ending December 31, 2015, compared to $3.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2013. The increase is primarily attributed to additional amortization following COD for projects in our initial portfolio and acquisitions.

Our Projects

The forecast above assumes that our portfolio of projects will consist of our initial portfolio during the relevant periods. See “Summary—Our Initial Portfolio and the Call Right Projects.” We have assumed that each of our construction projects will be completed on schedule for the budgeted construction costs. Although making acquisitions is part of our strategy, we have assumed we will not make any acquisitions during the forecast period.

MWh Sold

Our ability to generate sufficient cash available for distribution to pay dividends to holders of our Class A common stock is primarily a function of the volume of electricity generated and sold by our solar energy projects as well as, to a lesser extent, where applicable, the sale of green energy certificates and other environmental attributes related to energy generation. The volume of electricity generated and sold by our projects during a particular period is also impacted by the number of projects that have commenced commercial operations, as well as both scheduled and unexpected repair and maintenance required to keep our projects operational. The volume of electricity generated and sold by our projects will be negatively impacted if any projects experience higher than normal downtime as a result of equipment failures, electrical grid disruption or curtailment, weather disruptions or other events beyond our control.

As of March 31, 2014, the weighted average remaining contracted life of our PPAs was      years. Pricing under the PPAs is fixed for the duration of the contract for all projects other than those located in the United Kingdom or Massachusetts. In the case of our United Kingdom projects, the price is fixed for a specified period time (typically four years), after which a portion of the contracted revenue is subject to an adjustment based on the current market price. The prices for green energy certificates and certain other attributes under the PPAs for our U.K. projects is fixed for the entire term of the PPA.

 

82


Table of Contents

In the case of our Massachusetts projects, a portion of the contracted revenue is fixed and the remainder is subject to an adjustment based on the current market price. Of the projects in our initial portfolio, approximately     % of our nameplate MW capacity is represented by PPAs with fixed-pricing for the duration of the contract and approximately     % of our nameplate MW capacity is represented by PPAs that contain price adjustments after a stated period of time.

Regulatory, Industry and Economic Factors

Our estimated results of operations for the forecasted period are based on the following assumptions related to regulatory, industry and economic factors:

 

    no material nonperformance or credit-related defaults by customers, suppliers, our Sponsor or any of our customers;

 

    no new or material amendments to federal, state, local or foreign laws or regulations (including tax laws, tariffs and regulations), or interpretation or application of existing laws or regulation, relating to renewable energy generally, or solar energy specifically, that in either case will be materially adverse to our business or our suppliers’, our Sponsor’s or any of our customers’ businesses or operations;

 

    no material adverse effects to our business, industry or our suppliers’, our Sponsor’s or any of our customers’ businesses or operations on account of natural disasters;

 

    no material adverse change resulting from supply disruptions, reduced demand for electricity or electrical grid or interconnection disruption or curtailment;

 

    no material adverse changes in market, regulatory and overall economic conditions; and

 

    no material adverse changes in the existing regulatory framework, such as regulations relating to net metering or third party ownership of electrical generation.

 

83


Table of Contents

UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2013 have been derived from our accounting predecessor’s financial data (as derived from the historical combined consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus) and give pro forma effect to the Organizational Transactions, including the use of the estimated net proceeds from this offering, as if they had occurred on January 1, 2013. The unaudited pro forma consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2013 gives effective to the Organizational Transactions, including the use of the estimated proceeds from this offering, as if they had occurred on such date. We derived the following unaudited pro forma consolidated financial statements by applying pro forma adjustments to the historical combined financial statements of our accounting predecessor included elsewhere in this prospectus. The historical combined financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2013 appearing elsewhere in this prospectus are intended to represent the financial results of our Sponsor’s solar assets that will be contributed to Yield LLC as part of the Initial Asset Transfers for that period.

The Formation Transactions for which we have made pro forma adjustments are as follows:

 

    the Initial Asset Transfers;

 

    the completion of Yield LLC’s acquisition of the Initial Project Acquisitions, including Stonehenge, Norrington and Nellis solar energy projects, for an aggregate consideration of $         million;

 

    Yield LLC’s entry into the new $250.0 million Bridge Facility on March 28, 2014 to fund the acquisition by Yield LLC of solar projects developed by unaffiliated third parties prior to the completion of this offering; and

The Offering Transactions for which we have made pro forma adjustments are as follows:

 

    the amendment and restatement of Yieldco’s certificate of incorporation to provide for both Class A common stock and Class B common stock, and the concurrent conversion of (i) SunEdison’s interest in Yieldco’s common equity into shares of Class B common stock and (ii) certain equity interests held by certain of our executives and other employees of SunEdison into shares of Class A common stock;

 

    the amendment of Yield LLC’s operating agreement to provide for Class A units and Class B units and to convert SunEdison’s units into Class B units and appoint Yieldco as the sole managing member of Yield LLC;

 

    the sale of             shares of our Class A common stock to the purchasers in this offering in exchange for net proceeds of approximately $         million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions but before offering expenses (all of which will be paid by SunEdison);

 

    our use of the net proceeds from this offering to purchase newly issued Class A units of Yield LLC, representing     % of Yield LLC’s outstanding membership units;

 

    Yield LLC’s use of such proceeds to repay certain project-level indebtedness, to repay a portion of the Bridge Facility and for general corporate purposes, which may include future acquisitions of solar assets from SunEdison pursuant to the Support Agreement or from third parties;

 

    Yield Operating LLC’s execution of a new $         million Revolver, which will remain undrawn at the completion of this offering, and a $             million Term Loan to refinance any remaining borrowings under the Bridge Facility; and

 

84


Table of Contents
    our entering into the Management Services Agreement and Interest Payment Agreement with our Sponsor.

The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information is presented for informational purposes only. The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information does not purport to represent what our results of operations or financial condition would have been had the transactions to which the pro forma adjustments relate actually occurred on the dates indicated, and they do not purport to project our results of operations or financial condition for any future period or as of any future date.

We have not made any pro forma adjustments to our historical combined consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2013 relating to the historical operations of our acquisitions of the Stonehenge or Norrington projects that will be part of our initial portfolio, as such projects have not yet commenced commercial operations and are not otherwise material as compared to our historical combined consolidated financial statements. We have made pro forma adjustments to our combined consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2013 to give effect to such acquisitions.

The unaudited pro forma consolidated balance sheet and statement of operations should be read in conjunction with the sections entitled “Summary—Organizational Transactions,” “Use of Proceeds,” “Capitalization,” “Selected Historical Combined Financial Data,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our historical combined consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

85


Table of Contents

Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Statement of Operations

for the Year Ended December 31, 2013

 

                Pro Forma Adjustments      
(in thousands except share and per share data)   Predecessor
Actual
    Acquired
Projects
Actual
    Formation
Transactions
    Offering
Transactions
    SunEdison
Yieldco, Inc.
Pro Forma

Statement of operations data:

         

Operating revenues

  $ 10,324      $ 7,618      $                   $                  

Operating costs and expenses:

         

Cost of operations

    67        434         

Cost of operations – affiliate

    505        —           

Depreciation, amortization and accretion

    2,931        4,296                         (7)     

General and administrative(1)

    665        314                         (2)                       (3)   

General and administrative – affiliate

    2,684        —           
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

Total operating costs and expenses

    6,852        5,044         
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

Operating income

    3,472        2,574         

Other (income) expense:

         

Interest expense, net

    2,616        3,024                         (4)                       (5)   

Gain on foreign currency exchange

    (1,037     —           
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

Total other expense

    1,579        3,024         
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

Income before income tax expense (benefit)

    1,893        (450      

Income tax expense (benefit)

    834        —           
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

Net income (loss)

    1,059        (450      
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

Less net income attributable to non-controlling interest

    —          —                             (6)   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

Net income attributable to Yieldco

  $ 1,059      $ (450   $        $       
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

Pro Forma basic and diluted earnings per share(8)

    —          —           

Pro Forma weighted average shares outstanding(8)

    —          —           

Notes to the Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Statements of Operations

 

(1) General and administrative expenses include certain historical costs incurred by SunEdison and allocated to our accounting predecessor. These costs are not necessarily indicative of costs which would have been incurred had Yieldco been a stand-alone entity nor are these costs necessarily indicative of what our general and administrative expenses will be in the future. We estimate that our general and administrative expenses to operate as a public company on a standalone basis would have been approximately $4.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the allocated amount of approximately $2.7 million.

 

(2) Represents stock compensation expense of approximately $0.8 million related to the grants of restricted stock to our executive officers in connection with the formation of Yieldco.

 

(3)

Represents the net decrease in general and administrative expenses as a result of entering into the Management Services Agreement. Upon completion of this offering, we expect that our general and administrative expense will be comprised primarily of the management fee we will

 

86


Table of Contents
  pay to our Sponsor for the management and administration services provided to us under the Management Services Agreement. We calculated the management fee for this purpose by multiplying 2.5% by Yieldco’s CAFD for this period. We expect that such fee will be materially less than our historical general and administrative expenses and will be less than the actual costs that we would incur if we operated without the Management Services Agreement and had to retain third parties to provide the services our Sponsor will provide pursuant to that agreement. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Management Services Agreement.”

 

(4) Reflects the net increase in interest expense associated with increased borrowings under the Bridge Facility to finance the Initial Project Acquisitions to the completion of this offering. The Bridge Facility bears interest at a rate of 7% per year, which represents a Eurodollar rate that is based on the greater of the three month LIBOR or a 1% floor plus an applicable margin of 6% per annum.

 

(5) Represents: (i) the decrease in interest expense associated with the repayment of borrowings under the Bridge Facility and other project-level indebtedness with a portion of the net proceeds from this offering and proceeds from the Term Loan, and (ii) the assumed interest expense associated with borrowings under the Term Loan at an assumed interest rate of 7% and commitment fees relating to the Revolver. A  18% variance in the assumed interest rate would result in a $0.3 million change in pro forma interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2013. See “Use of Proceeds.” Pursuant to the Interest Payment Agreement, our Sponsor has agreed to pay all of the interest owing under the Term Loan for a period of approximately three years following this offering. Nevertheless, the interest expense associated with the Term Loan has been recorded as interest expense and has been presented in the pro forma financial statements as if or the Interest Payment Agreement is not in place.

 

(6) Yieldco will become the sole managing member of Yield LLC subsequent to consummation of the Initial Asset Transfers. After consummation of the Organizational Transactions, Yieldco will own less than 100% of the economic interests in Yield LLC but will have 100% of the voting power and control the management of Yield LLC. Giving pro forma effect to the Organizational Transactions, including the use of proceeds from this offering as if each had occurred on January 1, 2013, the non-controlling interest would have been     %, representing the income attributable to the non-controlling member, SunEdison.

 

(7) Represents the net change in depreciation, amortization and accretion expense to give effect to the acquisitions of Norrington, Stonehenge and Nellis.

 

(8) The pro forma basic and diluted earnings per share is calculated as follows:

 

(in thousands except share and per share data)    Basic      Diluted  

EPS Numerator:

     

Net income attributable to Class A common stock

   $                    $                
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

EPS Denominator:

     

Class A shares offered hereby

   $         $     

Restricted Class A shares

     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Class A shares

     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Earnings per share

   $         $     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

87


Table of Contents

Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Balance Sheet

As of December 31, 2013

 

                Pro Forma Adjustments        
(in thousands except share data)   Predecessor
Actual
    Acquired
Projects
Actual
    Formation
Transactions
    Offering
Transactions
    SunEdison
Yieldco, Inc.
Pro Forma
 

Assets

         

Current assets:

         

Cash and cash equivalents(1)

  $ 3        —        $                   $                   $ 3   

Restricted cash

    60,892        1,949            62,841   

Accounts receivable

    504        521            1,025   

Deferred income taxes

    54        —              54   

Prepayments and other current assets

    38,625        20            38,645   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total currents assets

    100,078        2,489            102,567   

Property and equipment, net(2)

    327,028        98,613            425,641   

Intangible assets(3)

    22,600        —              22,600   

Deferred financing costs, net

    10,731        769            11,500   

Other assets

    981        3,219            4,200   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total assets

  $ 461,418      $ 105,091      $        $        $ 566,509   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Liabilities and Equity

         

Current liabilities:

         

Current portion of long-term debt

  $ 34,447        2,011      $        $        $ 36,458   

Current portion of capital lease obligations

    773        —              773   

Accounts payable and other current liabilities

    7,914        742            8,656   

Deferred revenue

    215        —              215   

Due to parents and affiliates

    81,190        645            81,835   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total current liabilities

    124,539        3,398            127,937   

Long-term debt

    281,994        42,248        (4     (5     324,242   

Long-term capital lease obligations, less current portion

    28,398        —              28,398   

Deferred revenue

    5,376        —              5,376   

Deferred income taxes

    11,755        —              11,755   

Asset retirement obligations

    5,402        1,902            7,304   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total liabilities

  $ 457,464        47,548      $        $        $ 505,012   

Equity(6):

         

Net parent investment

  $ (8,824   $ —        $        $        $ (8,824

Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share, no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;         authorized and          issued and outstanding, as adjusted

    —          —           

Class B common stock, par value $0.01 per share, no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;         authorized, issued and outstanding, as adjusted

    —          —           

Preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share, no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual;         authorized and no shares issued and outstanding, as adjusted

    —          —           

Additional paid-in-capital

    —          —           

Non-controlling interest

    12,778        —              12,778   

Members’ equity

    —          57,543            57,543   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total equity

    3,954        57,543            61,497   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total liabilities and equity

  $ 461,418        105,091      $        $        $ 566,509   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

88


Table of Contents

Notes to the Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Balance Sheet

 

(1) Reflects the net effect on cash and cash equivalents of the receipt of offering proceeds of $         million and the use of proceeds as described in “Use of Proceeds.”

 

(2) Reflects the effect of the Norrington, Stonehenge and Nellis acquisitions. The Norrington and Stonehenge asset acquisitions did not have significant cost as of December 31, 2013. When the projects are constructed, the assets will be depreciated over its 30 year useful life. The property and equipment acquired with the Nellis acquisition of $         will be depreciated over its remaining useful life of 24 years.

 

(3) Represents an increase in intangible assets as a result of giving effect to the completion of the Stonehenge, Norrington and Nellis acquisitions. For the Norrington and Stonehenge asset acquisitions, the intangible assets of $         million related to power plant development arrangements will be reclassified to the related solar energy system (property and equipment) upon completion of the solar energy system. The asset will be amortized to depreciation expense on a straight-line basis over the estimated life of the solar energy system of 30 years.

For the Nellis acquisition, the intangible asset related to the fair value of the PPA was recorded for $        , which will be amortized over the remaining useful life of the PPA of 14 years.

 

(4) Reflects an increase in long-term debt associated with increased borrowings under the Bridge Facility to finance acquisitions prior to the completion of this offering.

 

(5) Reflects a decrease in long-term debt as a result of the use of a portion of the net proceeds of this offering to repay a portion of the borrowings under the Bridge Facility and other project-level indebtedness.

 

(6) Represents adjustments to stockholders’ equity reflecting (i) par value for Class A and Class B common stock to be outstanding following this offering, (ii) an increase of $         million of additional paid-in capital as a result of the issuance of Class A common stock in this offering, (iii) the elimination of the Yield LLC Class B units upon consolidation, and (iv) a decrease of $         million in retained earnings to allocate a portion of Yield LLC’s equity to non-controlling interest.

 

89


Table of Contents

SELECTED HISTORICAL COMBINED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The following table shows selected historical combined consolidated financial data at the dates and for the periods indicated. The selected historical combined financial data as of and for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013 have been derived from the audited combined consolidated financial statements of our accounting predecessor included elsewhere in this prospectus. The historical financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013 are intended to represent the financial results of our Sponsor’s contracted renewable energy assets that will be contributed to Yield LLC as part of the Initial Asset Transfers.

The following table should be read together with, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, the historical combined consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. Among other things, the historical combined consolidated financial statements include more detailed information regarding the basis of presentation for the information in the following table. The table should also be read together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

Except as noted below, the financial data of SunEdison Yieldco, Inc. has not been presented in this prospectus as it is a newly incorporated entity, had no business transactions or activities and had no assets or liabilities during the periods presented in this section. An audited balance sheet of SunEdison Yieldco, Inc. as of its date of incorporation on January 15, 2014 reflecting its nominal capitalization is included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     For the Year Ended December 31,  
(in thousands)          2012                 2013        

Statement of Operations Data:

    

Operating revenue

   $ 10,327      $ 10,324   
Operating costs and expenses:     

Cost of operations

     25        67   

Cost of operations—affiliate

     437        505   

General and administrative

     668        665   

General and administrative—affiliate

     2,676        2,684   

Depreciation and accretion

     2,743        2,931   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating costs and expenses

     6,549        6,852   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Operating income

     3,778        3,472   

Other (income) expense:

    

Interest expense, net

     2,745        2,616   

Gain on foreign currency exchange

     —          (1,037
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total other expense

     2,745        1,579   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income before income tax expense (benefit)

     1,033        1,893   

Income tax expense (benefit)

     (691     834   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income

   $ 1,724      $ 1,059   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Other Financial Data:

    

Adjusted EBITDA(1)

   $ 6,521      $ 7,440   

Cash Flow Data:

    

Net cash provided by (used in):

    

Operating activities

     3,333        (10,245

Investing activities

     (2,205     (209,979

Financing activities

     (1,125     220,224   

Balance Sheet Data (at period end):

    

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 3      $ 3   

Restricted cash

     4,415        60,892   

Property and equipment, net

     73,016        327,028   

Total assets

     103,232        461,418   

Total liabilities

     78,807        457,464   

Total equity

     24,425        3,954   

 

90


Table of Contents

 

(1) Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. This measurement is not recognized in accordance with GAAP and should not be viewed as an alternative to GAAP measures of performance. The presentation of Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items.

We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income plus interest expense, net, income taxes, depreciation and accretion, after eliminating the impact of non-recurring items and other factors that we do not consider indicative of future operating performance. We believe Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors in evaluating our operating performance because:

 

    securities analysts and other interested parties use such calculations as a measure of financial performance and debt service capabilities; and

 

    it is used by our management for internal planning purposes, including aspects of our consolidated operating budget and capital expenditures.

Adjusted EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations include:

 

    it does not reflect our cash expenditures or future requirements for capital expenditures or contractual commitments;

 

    it does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, working capital;

 

    it does not reflect significant interest expense or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments on our outstanding debt;

 

    it does not reflect payments made or future requirements for income taxes;

 

    it adjusts for contract amortization, mark-to-market gains or losses, asset write offs, impairments and factors that we do not consider indicative of future performance;

 

    it reflects adjustments for factors that we do not consider indicative of future performance, even though we may, in the future, incur expenses similar to the adjustments reflected in our calculation of Adjusted EBITDA in this prospectus; and

 

    although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced or paid in the future and Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect cash requirements for such replacements or payments.

Investors are encouraged to evaluate each adjustment and the reasons we consider it appropriate for supplemental analysis.

The following table presents a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA:

 

     For the Year Ended
December 31,
 
(in thousands)    2012     2013  

Net income

   $ 1,724      $ 1,059   

Add:

    

Depreciation and accretion

     2,743        2,931   

Interest expense, net

     2,745        2,616   

Income tax (benefit) expense

     (691     834   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

   $ 6,521      $ 7,440   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

91


Table of Contents

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, without limitation, those set forth in “Risk Factors,” “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements” and other matters included elsewhere in this prospectus. The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our predecessor’s historical combined consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus and our unaudited pro forma financial data, as well as the information presented under “Summary Historical and Pro Forma Financial Data,” “Selected Historical Combined Financial Data,” and “Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated Financial Data.”

Overview

We are a dividend growth-oriented company formed to own and operate contracted clean power generation assets acquired from SunEdison and unaffiliated third parties. Our business objective is to acquire high-quality contracted cash flows, primarily from owning solar generation assets serving utility, commercial and residential customers. Over time, we intend to acquire other clean power generation assets, including wind, natural gas, geothermal and hydro-electricity, as well as hybrid energy solutions that enable us to provide contracted power on a 24/7 basis. We believe the renewable power generation segment is growing more rapidly than other power generation segments due in part to the emergence in various energy markets of “grid parity,” which is the point at which renewable energy sources can generate electricity at a cost equal to or lower than prevailing electricity prices. We expect retail electricity prices to continue to rise due to increasing fossil fuel commodity prices, required investments in generation plants and transmission and distribution infrastructure and increasing regulatory costs. We believe we are well-positioned to capitalize on the growth in renewable power electricity generation, both through project originations and transfers from our Sponsor as well as through acquisitions from unaffiliated third parties. We will benefit from the development pipeline, asset management experience and relationships of our Sponsor, which as of December 31, 2013 had a 3.4 GW pipeline of development stage solar projects and approximately 1.9 GW of self-developed and third party developed solar power generation assets under management. Our Sponsor will provide us with a dedicated management team that has significant experience in clean power generation. We believe we are well-positioned for substantial growth due to the high-quality, diversification and scale of our project portfolio, the long-term PPAs, we have with creditworthy counterparties, our dedicated management team and our Sponsor’s project origination and asset management capabilities.

Our initial portfolio will consist of solar projects located in the United States, its unincorporated territories, Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile with total nameplate capacity of 409.3 MW. All of these projects will have long-term PPAs with creditworthy counterparties. We intend to rapidly expand and diversify our initial project portfolio by acquiring clean utility-scale and distributed generation assets located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile, each of which we expect will also have a long-term contracted PPA with a creditworthy counterparty. Growth in our project portfolio will be driven by our relationship with our Sponsor, including access to its project pipeline, and by our access to unaffiliated third party developers and owners of clean generation assets in our core markets.

 

92


Table of Contents

Factors that Significantly Affect our Results of Operations and Business

We expect the following factors will affect our results of operations:

Increasing Utilization of Clean Power Generations Sources

Clean energy has been one of the fastest growing sources of electricity generation in North America and globally over the past decade. We expect the renewable generation segment in particular to continue to offer high growth opportunities driven by:

 

    the significant reduction in the cost of solar and other renewable energy technologies, which will lead to grid parity in an increasing number of markets;

 

    distribution charges and the effects of an aging transmission infrastructure, which enable renewable energy generation sources located at a customer’s site, or distributed generation, to be more competitive with, or cheaper than, grid-supplied electricity;

 

    the replacement of aging and conventional power generation facilities in the face of increasing industry challenges, such as regulatory barriers, increasing costs of and difficulties in obtaining and maintaining applicable permits, and the decommissioning of certain types of conventional power generation facilities, such as coal and nuclear facilities;

 

    the ability to couple renewable power generation with other forms of power generation, creating a hybrid energy solution capable of providing energy on a 24/7 basis while reducing the average cost of electricity obtained through the system;

 

    the desire of energy consumers to lock in long-term pricing of a reliable energy source;

 

    renewable power generation’s ability to utilize freely available sources of fuel avoiding the risks of price volatility and market disruptions associated with many conventional fuel sources;

 

    environmental concerns over conventional power generation; and

 

    government policies that encourage development of renewable power, such as state or provincial renewable portfolio standard programs, which motivate utilities to procure electricity supply from renewable resources.

In addition to renewable energy, we expect natural gas to grow as a source of electricity generation due to its relatively lower cost and lower environmental impact compared to other fossil fuel sources, such as coal and oil.

Project Operations and Generation

Our revenue is primarily a function of the volume of electricity generated and sold by our solar energy projects as well as, to a lesser extent, where applicable, the sale of green energy certificates and other environmental attributes related to energy generation. Our initial portfolio of power generation assets is or will be fully contracted under long-term PPAs with creditworthy counterparties. As of December 31, 2013, the weighted average remaining contracted life of our PPAs was      years. Pricing of the electricity sold under these PPAs is or will be fixed for the duration of the contract or, in the case of the United Kingdom, for a specified period of time (typically four years), after which a portion of the contracted revenue is subject to an adjustment based on the current market price. The pricing for green energy certificates and certain other attributes under the PPAs for our U.K. projects is fixed for the entire term of the PPA. In the case of our Massachusetts projects, a portion of the contracted revenue is fixed and the remainder is subject to an adjustment based on the current market price. Certain of our PPA have price escalators based on an index (such as the consumer price index) or other rates specified in the applicable PPA. For more information regarding green energy certificates and other environmental attributes, see “Business—Government Incentives.”

 

93


Table of Contents

Our initial portfolio has a total nameplate capacity of 409.3 MW, and our generation availability across our project portfolio was 96.0% for the year ended December 31, 2013. For this purpose, we defined “generation availability” as the actual amount of time a power generation asset produces electricity divided by the amount of time such asset is expected to produce electricity, which reflects anticipated maintenance and interconnection interruptions. Our ability to generate electricity in an efficient and cost-effective manner is impacted by our ability to maintain and utilize the electrical generation capacity of our projects. The volume of electricity generated and sold by our projects during a particular period is also impacted by the number of projects that have commenced commercial operations, as well as both scheduled and unexpected repair and maintenance required to keep our projects operational. Equipment performance represents the primary factor affecting our operating results because equipment down time impacts the volume of the electricity that we are able to generate from our projects. The volume of electricity generated and sold by our projects will be negatively impacted if any projects experience higher than normal downtime as a result of equipment failures, electrical grid disruption or curtailment, weather disruptions or other events beyond our control.

Generally, over longer time periods, we expect our portfolio will exhibit less variability in generation compared to shorter periods. It is likely that we will experience more generation variability in monthly or quarterly production than we do for annual production. As a result, our periodic cash flows and payout ratios will reflect more variability during periods shorter than a year. While we intend to reserve a portion of our cash available for distribution and maintain a revolving credit facility in order to, among other things, facilitate the payment of dividends to our stockholders, unpredicted variability in generation could result in variability of our dividend payments to the extent we lack sufficient reserves and liquidity.

We use reliable and proven solar panels, inverters and other equipment manufactured by financially sound suppliers for each of our projects. We believe this combination significantly reduces the probability of unexpected equipment failures. Additionally, through our Management Services Agreement with our Sponsor, one of the world’s largest solar energy developers and operators, we have access to significant resources to support the maintenance and operation of our business. We believe our relationship with our Sponsor provides us with the opportunity to benefit from our Sponsor’s expertise in solar technology, project development, finance, and management and operations.

Project Acquisitions

Our ability to execute our growth strategy is dependent on our ability to acquire additional clean power generation assets from our Sponsor and unaffiliated third parties. We are focused on acquiring long-term contracted clean power generation assets with proven technologies, low operating risks and stable cash flows in geographically diverse locations with growing demand and stable legal and political systems. We expect to have the opportunity to increase our cash available for distribution and, in turn, our quarterly dividend per share by acquiring additional assets from our Sponsor, including those available to us under the Support Agreement, and from third parties.

As of December 31, 2013, our Sponsor’s pipeline (as defined below) was 3.4 GW. We benefit from this pipeline because our Sponsor has granted us a right to acquire the Call Right Projects and a right of first offer with respect to the ROFO Projects pursuant to the Support Agreement.

SunEdison includes a solar energy system project in its “pipeline” when it has a signed or awarded PPA or other energy off-take agreement or has achieved each of the following three items: site control, an identified interconnection point with an estimate of the interconnection costs and an executed energy off-take agreement or the determination that there is a reasonable likelihood that an energy off-take agreement will be signed. There can be no assurance that SunEdison’s pipeline will be converted into completed projects or that we will acquire these projects.

 

94


Table of Contents

Immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, we will enter into the Support Agreement with our Sponsor, which requires our Sponsor to offer us Call Right Projects from its development pipeline by the end of 2016 that have at least $175.0 million of Projected FTM CAFD. Specifically, the Support Agreement requires our Sponsor to offer us:

 

    after the consummation of this offering and prior to the end of 2015, solar projects that have at least $75.0 million of Projected FTM CAFD; and

 

    during calendar year 2016, solar projects that have at least $100.0 million of Projected FTM CAFD.

If the amount of Projected FTM CAFD of the projects we acquire under the Support Agreement after the consummation of this offering and prior to the end of 2015 is less than $75.0 million, or the amount of Projected FTM CAFD of the projects we acquire under the Support Agreement during 2016 is less than $100.0 million, our Sponsor has agreed that it will continue to offer to us sufficient Call Right Projects until the total aggregate Projected FTM CAFD commitment has been satisfied. The Call Right Projects that are specifically identified in the Support Agreement currently have a total nameplate capacity of 1.8 GW. We believe the currently identified Call Right Projects will be sufficient to satisfy a majority of the Projected FTM CAFD for 2015 and a substantial portion of the Projected FTM CAFD for 2016. The Support Agreement provides that our Sponsor is required to update the list of Call Right Projects with additional qualifying Call Right Projects from its pipeline on a quarterly basis until we have acquired Call Right Projects that have the specified minimum amount of Projected FTM CAFD for each of the periods covered by the Support Agreement.

In addition, the Support Agreement grants us a right of first offer with respect to the ROFO Projects. The Support Agreement does not identify the ROFO Projects since our Sponsor will not be obligated to sell any project that would constitute a ROFO Project. As a result, we do not know when, if ever, any ROFO Projects or other assets will be offered to us. In addition, in the event that our Sponsor elects to sell such assets, it will not be required to accept any offer we make to acquire any ROFO Project and, following the completion of good faith negotiations with us, our Sponsor may choose to sell such assets to a third party or not sell the assets at all.

In addition to acquiring clean power generation assets from our Sponsor, we intend to pursue additional acquisition opportunities that are complementary to our business from unaffiliated third parties. See “Business—Our Business Strategy.”

When we acquire clean power generation assets from a party other than our Sponsor, our financial statements will generally reflect such assets and their associated operations beginning on the date the acquisition is consummated. For so long as our Sponsor controls us, acquisitions from it will result in a recast of our financial statements for prior periods in accordance with accounting rules applicable to transactions between entities under common control. As a result, our financial statements would reflect such assets and resulting costs and operations for periods prior to the consummation of the acquisition.

Seasonality

The amount of electricity our solar power generation assets produce is dependent in part on the amount of sunlight, or irradiation, where the assets are located. Because shorter daylight hours in winter months results in less irradiation, the generation of particular assets will vary depending on the season. Additionally, to the extent more of our power generation assets are located in the northern or southern hemisphere, overall generation of our entire asset portfolio could be impacted by seasonality. While we expect seasonal variability to occur, we expect aggregate seasonal variability to decrease if geographic diversity of our portfolio between the northern and southern hemisphere increases.

 

95


Table of Contents

We expect our initial portfolio’s power generation to be at its lowest during the fourth quarter of each year. Similarly, we expect our fourth quarter revenue generation to be lower than other quarters. We intend to reserve a portion of our cash available for distribution and maintain a revolving credit facility in order to, among other things, facilitate the payment of dividends to our stockholders. As a result, we do not expect seasonality to have a material effect on the amount of our quarterly dividends.

Location of Power Generation Assets/Tax Repatriation

While we are a United States taxpayer, a significant portion of our assets are located in foreign tax jurisdictions and we expect that we will acquire additional power generation assets in foreign tax jurisdictions in the future. Changes in tax rates and the application of foreign tax withholding requirements in foreign jurisdictions where we own power generation assets will impact the contribution from such assets to cash available for distribution.

Cash Distribution Restrictions

In many cases we obtain project-level financing for our clean power generation assets. These project financing arrangements typically restrict the ability of our project subsidiaries to distribute funds to us unless specific financial thresholds are satisfied on specified dates. Although our calculation of our cash available for distribution will reflect the cash generated by such project subsidiaries, we may not have sufficient liquidity to make corresponding distributions until the cash is actually distributed and/or such financial thresholds are satisfied. As a result, Yield LLC may incur borrowings under our Revolver to fund dividends or increase our reserves for the prudent conduct of our business.

Foreign Exchange

Our operating results are reported in United States dollars. However, in the future, we expect a significant amount of our revenues and expenses will be generated in currencies other than United States dollars (including the British pound, the Canadian dollar and other currencies). As a result, we expect our revenues and expenses will be exposed to foreign exchange fluctuations in local currencies where our clean power generation assets are located. To the extent we do not hedge these exposures, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates could negatively impact our profitability.

Interest Rates

As of December 31, 2013, our long-term debt was borrowed at both fixed and variable interest rates. In the future, we expect a substantial amount of our corporate and project-level capital structure will be financed with variable rate debt or similar arrangements. We also expect that we will refinance fixed rate debt from time to time. If we incur variable rate debt or refinance our fixed rate debt, changes in interest rates could have an adverse effect on our cost of capital.

Key Metrics

Operating Metrics

Nameplate Megawatt Capacity

We measure the electricity-generating production capacity of our power generation assets in nameplate megawatt capacity. Rated capacity is the expected maximum output a power generation system can produce without exceeding its design limits. Nameplate capacity is the rated capacity of all of the power generation assets we own adjusted to reflect our economic ownership of joint ventures and similar projects. The size of our power generation assets varies significantly among the assets comprising our portfolio. We believe the aggregate nameplate megawatt capacity of our portfolio is indicative of our overall production capacity and period to period comparisons of our nameplate megawatt capacity are indicative of the growth rate of our business.

 

96


Table of Contents

Generation Availability

Generation availability refers to the actual amount of time a power generation asset produces electricity divided by the amount of time such asset is expected to produce electricity, which reflects anticipated maintenance and interconnection interruptions. We track generation availability as a measure of the operational efficiency of our business.

Megawatt Hour Generation

Megawatt hour generation refers to the actual amount of electricity a power generator produces over a specific period of time. We track the aggregate generation of our power generation assets as it is indicative of the periodic production of our business operations.

Megawatt Hours Sold

Megawatt hours sold refers to the actual volume of electricity generated and sold by our projects during a particular period. We track megawatt hours sold as an indicator of our ability to recognize revenue from the generation of electricity at our projects.

Financial Metrics

Cash Available for Distribution

As calculated in this prospectus, cash available for distribution represents net cash provided by (used in) operating activities of Yield LLC (i) plus or minus changes in operating assets and liabilities, (ii) minus deposits into (or plus withdrawals from) restricted cash accounts required by project financing arrangements, (iii) minus cash distributions paid to non-controlling interests in our projects, if any, (iv) minus scheduled project-level and other debt service payments and repayments in accordance with the related borrowing arrangements, to the extent they are paid from operating cash flows during a period, (v) minus non-expansionary capital expenditures, if any, to the extent they are paid from operating cash flows during a period, and (vi) plus or minus other items as necessary to present the cash flows we deem representative of our core business operations.

We believe cash available for distribution is useful to investors in evaluating our operating performance because securities analysts and other interested parties use such calculations as a measure of financial performance. In addition, cash available for distribution is used by our management team for internal planning purposes. For a further discussion of cash available for distribution, including a reconciliation of net cash provided by (used in) operating activities to cash available for distribution and a discussion of its limitations, see footnote 2 under the heading “Summary Historical and Pro Forma Financial Data” elsewhere in this prospectus.

Adjusted EBITDA

We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income plus interest expense, net, income taxes, depreciation and accretion, after eliminating the impact of non-recurring items and other factors that we do not consider indicative of future operating performance.

We believe Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors in evaluating our operating performance because securities analysts and other interested parties use such calculations as a measure of financial performance and debt service capabilities. In addition, Adjusted EBITDA it used by our management for internal planning purposes, including for certain aspects of our consolidated operating budget and capital expenditures. See footnote 1 under the heading “Summary Historical and Pro Forma Financial Data” elsewhere in this prospectus for a discussion on the limitations of Adjusted EBITDA.

 

97


Table of Contents

Components of Results of Operations

Operating Revenues

Energy

A significant majority of the Company’s revenues are obtained through the sale of energy pursuant to terms of power purchase agreements (“PPAs”) or other contractual arrangements which have an average remaining life of 17 years as of December 31, 2013. All of these PPAs are accounted for as operating leases, have no minimum lease payments and all of the rental income under these leases are recorded as income when the electricity is delivered.

Incentives

The Company also generates solar renewable energy certificates (“SRECs”) as it produces electricity. Certain of these SRECs are sold independently in an open market and revenue is recognized at the time title to the SRECs is transferred to the buyer. Under the terms of certain debt agreements with a creditor, SRECs are transferred directly to the creditor to reduce principal and interest payments due under solar program loans and are therefore presented in the combined consolidated statements of cash flows as non-cash reconciling item in determining cash flows from operations.

We also receive performance-based incentives, or “PBIs,” from public utilities in connection with certain sponsored programs. PBI revenue is based on the actual level of output generated from our solar energy systems recognized upon validation of the kilowatt hours produced from a third party metering company because the quantities to be billed to the utility are determined and agreed to at that time.

In addition, we receive upfront incentives or subsidies from various state governmental jurisdictions for operating certain of our solar energy systems. The amounts have been deferred are recognized as revenue on a straight-line basis over the depreciable life of the solar energy system as the Company fulfills its obligation to operate these solar energy systems.

We expect we will receive incentives from the government of the United Kingdom in the form of ROCs which we expect to sell to unaffiliated third parties. ROCs are based on the actual level of output generated from the applicable power generation facility. Revenue is recognized in respect of ROCs when the energy is produced, specified criteria are met and the ROC is transferred to a third party with a specified price.

Operating Costs and Expenses

Cost of operations

Our cost of operations is comprised of the contractual costs incurred under our fixed price operations and maintenance and project-level management administration agreements with annual escalators for our solar power generation assets.

Depreciation and accretion

Depreciation expense is recognized using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of our solar power generation assets. Accretion expense represents the increase in asset retirement obligations over the remaining operational life of the associated solar power generation assets.

 

98


Table of Contents

General and administrative

Our general and administrative expenses consist primarily of the allocation of general corporate overhead costs from our Sponsor that are attributable to our predecessor operations. These costs include legal, accounting, tax, treasury, information technology, insurance, employee benefit costs, communications, human resources, and procurement. In addition, general and administrative expenses include property taxes and insurance. Upon completion of this offering, we expect that our general and administrative expense will be comprised primarily of the management fee we will pay to our Sponsor for the management and administration services provided to us under the Management Services Agreement. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Management Services Agreement.”

Interest Expense

Interest expense is comprised of interest incurred under our fixed and variable rate financing arrangements and the amortization of deferred financing costs incurred in connection with obtaining construction and term financing.

Income Tax Expense (Benefit)

Income tax expense (benefit) consists of federal and state income taxes in the United States and certain foreign jurisdictions, and deferred income taxes and changes in related valuation allowance reflecting the net tax effects of temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes and the amounts used for income tax purposes.

Combined Results of Operations of Our Predecessor

The following table summarizes our historical combined consolidated statements of operations as a percentage of operating revenues for the periods shown:

 

     For the Year Ended December 31,  
(As a percentage of operating revenues)            2013                     2012          

Operating revenues

     100     100

Operating costs and expenses:

  

Cost of operations

     1          

Cost of operations—affiliate

     5        4   

Depreciation and accretion

     28        27   

General and administrative

     6        6   

General and administrative—affiliate

     26        26   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating costs and expenses

     66        63   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Operating income

     34        37   

Other (income) expense:

    

Interest expense, net

     25        27   

Gain on foreign currency exchange

     (10       
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total other expense

     15        27   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income before income tax expense (benefit)

     19        10   

Income tax expense (benefit)

     6        (7
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income

     13     17
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

99


Table of Contents

Year Ended December 31, 2013 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2012

Operating Revenues

Operating revenues for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 were as follows:

 

     For the Year Ended
December 31,
 
Operating Revenues (in thousands, other than MW data)    2013      2012  

Energy

   $ 6,296       $ 6,184   

Incentives

     4,028         4,143   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total operating revenues

   $ 10,324       $ 10,327   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

MWh sold

     37,193         37,140   

Nameplate megawatt capacity (MW)(1)

     23.7         21.8   

 

(1) At end of period.

Operating revenues during the year ended December 31, 2013 were unchanged compared to the same period in 2012 due to no changes in MWh sold or in the price per MWh sold compared to the prior year. Total nameplate megawatt capacity increased 8.7% during the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 due to the completion of solar energy systems located in Puerto Rico, which reached commercial operations in December 2012 and September 2013. At December 31, 2013, we had solar energy projects under construction that will result in an additional 306 MW of nameplate capacity when the projects achieve commercial operations in 2014.

Costs of Operations

 

     For the year ended December 31,  
Cost of Operations (in thousands)               2013                            2012             

Cost of operations

   $ 67       $ 25   

Cost of operations—affiliate

     505         437   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total cost of operations

   $ 572       $ 462   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Costs of operations increased by $110 thousand to $572 thousand for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to $462 for the year ended December 31, 2012, due to the completion of additional solar energy projects combined with annual fixed price escalators pursuant to our O&M agreements.

General and Administrative Expense

General and administrative-affiliate expense remained consistent at $2.7 million for each of the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 due to no significant changes in the nameplate capacity of our operational solar energy systems. General and administrative expense also remained consistent at $0.7 million for each of the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 for the same reason.

Depreciation and Accretion

Depreciation and accretion expense increased by $0.2 million to $2.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to $2.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, due primarily to additional depreciation for solar energy systems that reached commercial operations in late 2012 and throughout 2013.

 

100


Table of Contents

Interest Expense, Net

Interest expense, net decreased by $127 thousand during the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 primarily as the interest associated with the construction loans was capitalized.

Income Tax Expense (Benefit)

Income tax expense was $834 thousand for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to an income tax benefit of $691 thousand during the same period in 2012, due primarily to grants received in lieu of tax credits in 2012 that were not received in 2013.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Our principal liquidity requirements are to finance current operations, service our debt and fund cash dividends to our investors. We will also use capital in the future to finance expansion capital expenditures and acquisitions. Historically, our predecessor operations were financed as part of our Sponsor’s integrated operations and largely relied on internally generated cash flows as well as corporate and/or project-level borrowings to satisfy capital expenditure requirements. As a normal part of our business, depending on market conditions, we will from time to time consider opportunities to repay, redeem, repurchase or refinance our indebtedness. Changes in our operating plans, lower than anticipated electricity sales, increased expenses, acquisitions or other events may cause us to seek additional debt or equity financing in future periods. There can be no guarantee that financing will be available on acceptable terms or at all. Debt financing, if available, could impose additional cash payment obligations and additional covenants and operating restrictions. Equity financing, if any, could result in the dilution of our existing stockholders and make it more difficult for us to maintain our dividend policy. In addition, any of the items discussed in detail under “Risk Factors” in this prospectus may also significantly impact our liquidity.

Liquidity Position

We believe that, following the completion of this offering, we will have sufficient borrowings available under the Revolver, liquid assets and cash flows from operations to meet our financial commitments, debt service obligations, contingencies and anticipated required capital expenditures for at least the next 12 months. As of December 31, 2013 and 2012, our liquidity was approximately $60.9 million and $4.4 million, respectively, comprised of cash and restricted cash.

However, we are subject to business and operational risks that could adversely affect our cash flow. A material decrease in our cash flows would likely produce a corresponding adverse effect on our borrowing capacity.

Sources of Liquidity

Following the closing of this offering, we expect our ongoing sources of liquidity to include cash on hand, cash generated from operations, borrowings under new and existing financing arrangements and the issuance of additional equity securities as appropriate given market conditions. We expect that these sources of funds will be adequate to provide for our short-term and long-term liquidity needs. Our ability to meet our debt service obligations and other capital requirements, including capital expenditures, as well as make acquisitions, will depend on our future operating performance which, in turn, will be subject to general economic, financial, business, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other conditions, many of which are beyond our control. As described in Note 7, Debt and Capital Lease Obligations, to our audited combined consolidated financial statements, our financing arrangements as of December 31, 2013 consisted mainly of the project-level financings and construction loans for our various assets.

 

101


Table of Contents

Revolving Credit Facility

In connection with this offering, we anticipate that Yield Operating LLC will enter into the Revolver, which is expected to provide for a revolving line of credit of approximately $         million. The Revolver is expected to include borrowing capacity available for letters of credit and for incremental commitments of up to $         million. We expect that Yield LLC will be a guarantor under the revolving credit facility. The revolving credit facility is expected to contain certain financial covenants, including maximum borrower leverage ratio and minimum borrower interest coverage ratio. In general, Yield Operating LLC expects that the revolving credit facility will contain representations and warranties that are customary for this type of financing, including limitations on investments and restricted payments; provided, however, that each of Yield Operating LLC and Yield LLC will be permitted to pay distributions to unitholders out of available cash so long as no default or event of default under the Revolver shall have occurred and be continuing at the time of such distribution or would result therefrom and it is in compliance with its financial covenants. We expect that the Revolver will contain events of default that are customary for this type of financing.

Yield Operating LLC is still in preliminary discussions with potential arrangers and lenders with respect to the terms of the new revolving credit facility. The actual terms of the new facility will depend on the results of negotiations with lenders. We expect that affiliates of certain of the underwriters will participate as arrangers and/or lenders under the revolving credit facility.

Term Loan

In connection with this offering, we also anticipate that Yield Operating LLC will enter into a new term loan facility to refinance any remaining borrowings outstanding under the Bridge Facility. We are still in preliminary discussions with potential arrangers and lenders with respect to the terms of the Term Loan. In general, we expect that the Term Loan will contain representations and warranties, financial and restrictive covenants, events of default and collateral arrangements that are customary for this type of financing. The actual terms of our Term Loan will depend on the results of negotiations with our lenders. See “Description of Certain Indebtedness—Term Loan.”

Project-Level Financing Arrangements

We have outstanding project-specific non-recourse financing that is backed by certain of our solar energy system assets. The table below summarizes certain terms of our project-level financing arrangements for our initial portfolio as of December 31, 2013:

 

Name of Project

   Aggregate
Principal
Amount
as of
12/31/2013
    

Type of Financing

   Maturity Date(s)

Distributed Generation:

        

U.S. Projects 2009-2013

   $ 10,206       Solar Program Loans    2024 - 2026
     8,636      

Term Bonds

   2016 - 2032

U.S. State Prison Projects

     9,270      

Term Loans

   2023
  

 

 

       

Subtotal

   $ 28,112         

Utility:

        

Regulus Solar

   $ 44,400       Development Loan    2016

Alamosa

     29,172      

Capital Lease

   2032

CAP

     212,500       Construction Loans    2032
     31,428      

VAT Facility

   2014
  

 

 

       

Subtotal

   $ 317,500         
  

 

 

       

Total Project-Level Indebtedness

   $ 345,612         
  

 

 

       

 

102


Table of Contents

We acquired the Nellis solar energy project on March 28, 2014. As of its acquisition date, it had an aggregate of $44.3 million of project-level financing in the form of term loans that bear interest at 6.69%, mature in 2027 and are secured by substantially all of the project’s assets.

The agreements governing our project-level financing contain financial and other restrictive covenants that limit our project subsidiaries’ ability to make distributions to us or otherwise engage in activities that may be in our long-term best interests. The project-level financing agreements generally prohibit distributions from the project entities to us unless certain specific conditions are met, including the satisfaction of certain financial ratios. For more information regarding the terms of our project-level financing, see “Description of Certain Indebtedness—Project-Level Financing Arrangements.”

Uses of Liquidity

Our principle requirements for liquidity and capital resources, other than for operating our business, can generally be categorized by the following: (i) debt service obligations; (ii) funding acquisitions, if any; and (iii) cash dividends to investors. Generally, once COD is reached, solar power generation assets do not require significant capital expenditures to maintain operating performance.

Debt Service Obligations

Principal payments on debt as of December 31, 2013 are due in the following periods:

 

(in thousands)    2014      2015      2016      2017      2018      Thereafter      Total  

Maturities of long-term debt

   $ 34,447       $ 6,843       $ 51,569       $ 7,567       $ 8,170       $ 207,845       $ 316,441   

Acquisitions

Following the completion of this offering, we expect to acquire additional projects. Although we have no commitments to make any such acquisitions, we expect to acquire certain of the Call Right Projects and ROFO Projects. We do not expect to have sufficient amounts of cash on hand to fund the acquisition costs of all of such Call Right Projects and ROFO Projects. As a result, we will need to either finance a portion of such acquisitions by raising additional equity or issuing new debt. We believe that we will have the financing capacity to pursue such opportunities, but we are subject to business, operational and macroeconomic risks that could adversely affect our cash flows and ability to raise capital. A material decrease in our cash flows or downturn in the equity or debt capital markets would likely produce a corresponding adverse effect on our ability to finance such acquisitions.

Cash Dividends to Investors

We intend to cause Yield LLC to distribute to its unitholders in the form of a quarterly distribution a portion of the cash available for distribution that is generated each quarter. In turn, we intend to use the amount of cash available for distribution that Yieldco receives from such distribution to pay quarterly dividends to the holders of our Class A common stock. The cash available for distribution is likely to fluctuate from quarter to quarter and in some cases significantly if any projects experience higher than normal downtime as a result of equipment failures, electrical grid disruption or curtailment, weather disruptions or other events beyond our control. We expect our dividend payout ratio to vary as we intend to maintain or increase our dividend despite variations in our cash available for distribution from period to period.

See “Cash Dividend Policy—Assumptions and Considerations.”

 

103


Table of Contents

Cash Flow Discussion

We use traditional measures of cash flow, including net cash provided by operating activities, net cash used in investing activities and net cash provided by financing activities, as well as cash available for distribution to evaluate our periodic cash flow results.

Year Ended December 31, 2013 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2012

The following table reflects the changes in cash flows for the comparative periods:

 

     For the Year Ended
December 31,
       
(in thousands)    2013     2012     Change  

Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities

     (10,245   $ 3,333      $ (13,578

Net cash used in investing activities

     (209,979     (2,205     (207,774

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

     220,224        (1,125     221,349   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

   $ —        $ 3      $ (3
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net Cash Provided By Operating Activities

The change to net cash provided by operating activities is primarily driven by the timing of cash payments to our Sponsor and affiliates for reimbursement of operating expenses paid by the same or other affiliates of our Sponsor.

Net Cash Used By Investing Activities

The change to net cash used by investing activities is driven by capital expenditures related to the construction of solar energy systems and changes in restricted cash in accordance with the restrictions in our debt agreements.

Net Cash Provided By Financing Activities

The change in net cash provided by financing activities is primarily driven by proceeds from system construction and term debt financing arrangements which were partially offset by distributions to our Sponsor.

Contractual Obligations and Commercial Commitments

We have a variety of contractual obligations and other commercial commitments that represent prospective cash requirements. The following table summarizes our outstanding contractual obligations and commercial commitments as of December 31, 2013.

 

     Payment Due by Period  

Contractual Cash Obligations (in thousands)

   Under 1
Year
     1-3 Years      3-5 Years      Over 5
Years
     Total  

Long-term debt (principal)(1)

   $ 34,447       $ 58,412       $ 15,737       $ 207,845       $ 316,441   

Long-term debt (interest)

     19,134         64,479         30,973         109,016         223,602   

Capital lease obligations (principal)

     773         3,734         3,871         20,794         29,172   

Capital lease obligations (interest)

     431         1,607         1,380         3,185         6,603   

Purchase obligations(2)

     435         896         949         9,304         11,584   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total contractual obligations

   $ 55,220       $ 129,128       $ 52,910       $ 350,144       $ 587,402   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)

Does not include obligations under either the Revolver or Term Loan that we expect to enter into prior to completion of this offering.

 

104


Table of Contents
 
(2) Consists primarily of contractual payments due for operation and maintenance services. Does not include payments under the management services agreement, which we will enter into upon the completion of this offering.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

We are not a party to any off-balance sheet arrangements.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based on our predecessor’s combined consolidated historical financial statements that are included elsewhere in this prospectus, which have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. In applying the critical accounting policies set forth below, our management uses its judgment to determine the appropriate assumptions to be used in making certain estimates. These estimates are based on management’s experience, the terms of existing contracts, management’s observance of trends in the power industry, information provided by our power purchasers and information available to management from other outside sources, as appropriate. These estimates are subject to an inherent degree of uncertainty.

We use estimates, assumptions and judgments for certain items, including the depreciable lives of property and equipment, income tax, revenue recognition, certain components of cost of revenue and exemptions and reduced reporting requirements provided by the JOBS Act. These estimates, assumptions and judgments are derived and continually evaluated based on available information, experience and various assumptions we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. To the extent these estimates are materially incorrect and need to be revised, our operating results may be materially adversely affected.

Our significant accounting policies are summarized in Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, to our audited combined consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. We identify our most critical accounting policies as those that are the most pervasive and important to the portrayal of our financial position and results of operations, and that require the most difficult, subjective and/or complex judgments by management regarding estimates about matters that are inherently uncertain.

We identify our most critical accounting policies as those that are the most pervasive and important to the portrayal of our financial position and results of operations, and that require the most difficult, subjective and/or complex judgments by management regarding estimates about matters that are inherently uncertain.

Use of Estimates

In preparing our combined consolidated financial statements, we use estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements. Such estimates also affect the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results may differ from estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

Asset Retirement Obligations

We operate under solar power services agreements with some customers that include a requirement for the removal of the solar energy systems at the end of the term of the agreement. Asset retirement obligations are recognized at fair value in the period in which they are incurred and the

 

105


Table of Contents

carrying amount of the related long-lived asset is correspondingly increased. Over time, the liability is accreted to its expected future value. The corresponding asset capitalized at inception is depreciated over the useful life of the asset.

Stock-based Compensation

We have not granted any stock based awards during the historical financial reporting periods covered by the financial statements included in this prospectus. Accordingly, no stock-based compensation expense has been recorded relating to stock-based awards.

On January 31, 2014 and February 20, 2014, the Company granted 27,647 and 14,118 shares of restricted stock, respectively, to certain employees of SunEdison that will perform services for us. The number of restricted shares granted represents 3.55% of the estimated fair value of the total equity in SunEdison Yieldco, LLC as of the grant date. Upon the closing of our initial public stock offering, the restricted shares will be convertible to a number of shares of Class A Common Stock that represents the percentage interest noted above. We began recognizing stock-based compensation expense on the date of grant based on the grant-date fair value of these awards using the straight-line attribution method, net of estimated forfeitures.

On January 29, 2014 and February 20, 2014, the Company granted 7,193 and 3,749 shares of Class A common stock, respectively, to certain individuals. The number of shares granted represents 2.00% of the estimated fair value of the total equity in SunEdison Yieldco, LLC as of the grant date. The stock-based compensation expense based on the grant-date fair value for these shares will be recognized at the completion of this offering.

Common Stock Valuation

We are required to estimate the fair value of the common stock when performing the fair value calculations. The fair value of the restricted shares was determined by our board of directors, with input from management and contemporaneous third-party valuations. We believe that our board of directors has the relevant experience and expertise to determine the fair value of our common stock. As described below, the fair value of the restricted shares was determined by our board of directors with reference to the most recent contemporaneous third-party valuation as of the grant date.

Given the absence of a public trading market of our common stock, and in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Accounting and Valuation Guide: Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation, our board of directors exercised reasonable judgment and considered numerous objective and subjective factors to determine the best estimate of the fair value of our common stock including:

 

    contemporaneous valuations performed by unrelated third-party specialists;

 

    our operating and financial performance;

 

    current business conditions and projections;

 

    hiring of key personnel and the experience of our management;

 

    our stage of development;

 

    stage of project acquisitions, construction and revenue arrangements;

 

    likelihood of achieving a liquidity event, such as an initial public offering or a sale of the company;

 

    lack of marketability of our common stock;

 

    the market performance of comparable publicly traded companies; and

 

    the U.S. and global capital market conditions.

 

106


Table of Contents

In valuing our common stock, our board of directors determined the equity value of our business using the income approach valuation method. The income approach estimates value based on the expectation of future cash flows that a company will generate. These future cash flows are discounted to their present values using a discount rate derived from an analysis of the cost of capital of comparable publicly traded companies in our industry or similar lines of business as of the valuation date and is adjusted to reflect the risks inherent in our cash flows.

Once we determined an equity value, we used the Probability Weighted Expected Return Method, (or “PWERM”), to allocate our equity value among the various outcomes. Under the PWERM, the value of equity is estimated based on analyses of future values for the enterprise assuming various possible outcomes. Share value is based on the probability-weighted present value of expected future returns to the equity investor, considering the likely future scenarios available to the enterprise and the rights and preferences of each share class.

After the equity value is determined, a discount for lack of marketability is applied to our common stock to arrive at the fair value of our common stock. The probability and timing of each scenario were based upon discussions between our board of directors and our management team. Under the PWERM, the value of our common stock was based upon two possible future events for our company:

 

    initial public offering; and

 

    no initial public offering.

We believe we applied a reasonable valuation method to determine the estimated fair value of our common stock on the respective grant dates.

Between December 31, 2013 and the date of this prospectus, we granted the following restricted shares:

 

Grant Date

   Number of
Restricted Shares
     Common Stock Fair
Value Per Share on
Date of Grant
 

Restricted Stock

     

January 31, 2014

     27,647       $ 58   

February 20, 2014

     14,118       $ 58   

Class A Shares

     

January 29, 2014

     7,193       $   124   

February 20, 2014

     3,749       $   126   

Based upon $         per share, the mid-point of the price range on the cover page of this prospectus, the aggregate intrinsic value of options outstanding as of                     , 2014 was approximately $         million, of which $         million related to vested options and approximately $         million related to unvested options.

Valuation Inputs

In estimating the fair value of our common stock, our board of directors considered a valuation analysis for our common stock dated as of January 31, 2014. The valuation analysis reflected a fair value for our common stock of $68.6 million. The primary valuation considerations were an enterprise value determined from the income-based approach using an enterprise value multiple applied to our forward revenue metric and a lack of marketability discount of 15%. The illiquidity discount model utilized the following assumptions: a time to liquidity event of 6 months; a risk free rate of 3.4%; and volatility of 60% over the time to a liquidity event. Estimates of the volatility of our common stock were based on available information on the volatility of common stock of comparable publicly traded companies. Our board of directors considered the proximity relative to the January 31, 2014 valuation and our financial performance in establishing the fair value of the common stock.

 

107


Table of Contents

Offering Price

As discussed above, in consultation with the underwriters, our board of directors, our pricing committee, and members of senior management, we determined our anticipated offering price range to be $         to $         per share.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

We have evaluated recent accounting pronouncements and their adoption has not had or is not expected to have a material impact on our financial statements.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

We are exposed to several market risks in our normal business activities. Market risk is the potential loss that may result from market changes associated with our business or with an existing or forecasted financial or commodity transaction. The types of market risks we are exposed to are interest rate risk, foreign currency risk, liquidity risk and credit risk.

Interest Rate Risk

As of December 31, 2013 our long-term debt was at both fixed and variable interest rates. A hypothetical increase or decrease in our variable interest rates by 1% would not have had a significant effect on our predecessor’s earnings for the year ended December 31, 2013. As of December 31, 2013, the fair value of our debt was $387.2 million and the carrying value of our debt was $345.6 million. We estimate that a 1% decrease in market interest rates would have increased the fair value of our long-term debt by $22.8 million.

We expect to enter into the Term Loan and the Revolver upon completion of this offering. We expect that borrowings under the Term Loan and Revolver will be at variable rates. Although we intend to use hedging strategies to mitigate our exposure to interest rate fluctuations, we may not hedge all of our interest rate risk and, to the extent we enter into interest rate hedges, our hedges may not necessarily have the same duration as the associated indebtedness. Our exposure to interest rate fluctuations will depend on the amount of indebtedness that bears interest at variable rates, the time at which the interest rate is adjusted, the amount of the adjustment, our ability to prepay or refinance variable rate indebtedness, when fixed rate debt that matures and needs to be refinanced and hedging strategies we may use to reduce the impact of any increases in rates.

Foreign Currency Risk

In 2013, all of our operating revenues were generated in the United States and Puerto Rico and were denominated in United States dollars. We expect the PPAs, operating and maintenance agreements, financing arrangements and other contractual arrangements relating to our initial project portfolio will be United States dollar and British pound denominated, but in the future we expect such arrangements may also be denominated in other currencies. We expect to use derivative financial instruments, such as forward exchange contracts and purchases of currency options to minimize our net exposure to currency fluctuations.

 

108


Table of Contents

INDUSTRY

Overview of the Clean Energy Industry

Clean power sources, including solar, wind, hydro-electricity and geothermal, as well as natural gas, are expected to account for 70% of the new power generation capacity added globally from 2013 to 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. This represents a 5.6% compound annual growth rate, or “CAGR,” for clean power generation capacity during that time period, making it the fastest growing source of generation capacity. The following chart reflects the projected evolution of cumulative installed generation capacity from various power sources from 2010 to 2020:

Global Cumulative Installed Generation Capacity (GW), 2010-2020

LOGO

In the United States, renewable energy is expected to be the fastest growing form of electricity generation. Between 2010 and 2020, renewable energy sources are projected to grow from 10% to 15% of total market supply, representing nearly half the total growth in energy supply during that period, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, or “EIA.” The following chart reflects the projected growth in renewable and conventional energy sources from 2010 to 2020:

U.S. Energy Supply (Trillion kWh), 2010-2020

 

LOGO

 

109


Table of Contents

We expect the renewable generation segment to continue to offer high growth opportunities driven by:

 

    the significant reduction in the cost of solar and other clean energy technologies, which will lead to grid parity in an increasing number of markets;

 

    transmission and distribution charges and the effects of an aging transmission infrastructure, which enable renewable energy generation sources located at a customer’s site, or distributed generation, to be more competitive with, or cheaper than, grid-supplied electricity;

 

    the replacement of aging and conventional power generation facilities in the face of increasing industry challenges, such as regulatory barriers, increasing costs of and difficulties in obtaining and maintaining applicable permits, and the decommissioning of certain types of conventional power generation facilities, such as coal and nuclear facilities;

 

    the ability to couple renewable power generation with other forms of power generation, creating a hybrid energy solution capable of providing energy on a 24/7 basis while reducing the average cost of electricity obtained through the system;

 

    the desire of energy consumers to lock in predictable rate long-term pricing of a reliable energy source;

 

    renewable power generation’s ability to utilize freely available sources of fuel avoiding the risks of price volatility and market disruptions associated with many conventional fuel sources;

 

    environmental concerns over conventional power generation; and

 

    government policies that encourage development of renewable power, such as state or provincial renewable portfolio standard programs, which motivate utilities to procure electricity supply from renewable resources.

In addition to renewable energy, we expect natural gas to grow as a source of electricity generation due to its relatively lower cost and lower environmental impact compared to other fossil fuel sources, such as coal and oil.

 

110


Table of Contents

Solar Energy

Solar energy is one of the fastest growing sources of new electricity generation. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global solar photovoltaic, or “PV,” installations have grown from 17.0 GW in 2010 to approximately 30.0 GW in 2013, and are projected to grow to 68.0 GW by 2020. The following chart reflects the growth or expected growth, as applicable, for global solar PV installations from 2010 to 2020:

Global Solar PV Installations (GW), 2010-2020

 

LOGO

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, from 2013 to 2020, solar PV energy assets capable of producing approximately 416 GW of energy in the aggregate are expected to be installed globally, requiring total investments of approximately $802 billion. The following chart reflects the expected investments in solar energy installations from 2010 to 2020:

Annual Investment in Global Solar PV Energy ($ in billions), 2010-2020

 

LOGO

 

111


Table of Contents

Solar Energy Segments

Solar energy systems can be classified into four segments: (i) utility-scale, (ii) commercial and industrial, or “C&I,” (iii) residential and (iv) off-grid. We are focused on the first three of these segments. The utility-scale segment represents projects where either the purchaser of the electricity or the owner of the system is an electric utility. The C&I segment represents commercial firms, industrial companies, academic institutions, government entities, hospitals, non-profits and all other entities that are neither a utility nor a residential customer that purchase solar power directly from a generation company or a solar power plant. The residential segment represents residential homeowners with solar generation capabilities.

While solar utility projects compete with other wholesale generation plants, C&I and residential solar projects compete with the retail electricity price. Retail electricity prices include two components: electricity generation costs and the transmission and distribution charges.

In the C&I segment, most commercial or industrial firms do not own the solar assets, but rather sign a PPA with a generation company that owns the assets. Demand for C&I and residential solar is driven largely by customer’s desire for fixed long-term energy prices, corporate “green” initiatives, state and federal incentives and net metering policies.

In the C&I and residential markets, solar energy competes with the full-delivered, or retail, price of electricity. The retail electricity price includes generation costs as well as transmission and distribution charges. Solar generating assets can be located at a customer’s site, which reduces the customer’s transmission and distribution charges and allows these distributed solar generation assets to compete favorably with the retail cost of electricity. By competing with the retail price of electricity, solar energy is able to reach grid parity and reduce customer electricity costs.

The vast majority of utility solar projects are structured so that the utility does not own the generating assets, but rather the utility signs a long-term PPA to buy the electricity from the plant. Demand for utility PPAs is largely driven by (i) the utility’s need to meet renewables mandates, (ii) load growth and (iii) the retirement of existing generation assets.

Key Drivers of Solar Energy Growth

We believe the following factors have driven, and will continue to drive, the global growth of solar energy:

Grid parity. The price of solar energy has undergone, and is expected to continue to undergo, a decline in pricing. On a global basis, the average total installation cost of solar PV projects is expected to decline by more than 60% in the ten-year period ending in 2020. In 2010, the average installation cost per watt of capacity was $4.50 and fell to $2.17 in 2013. By 2020, this number is expected to fall to $1.77 according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

According to the EIA, total sales of retail electricity in the United States in 2012 were $364 billion. United States retail electricity prices have increased at an average annual rate of 3.6% and 2.7% from 2004 to 2012 for residential and commercial customers, respectively, with average residential prices rising from 8.95 cents to 11.88 cents per kilowatt hour, or “kWh,” and average commercial prices rising from 8.17 cents to 10.09 cents per kWh over this period, according to EIA.

Rising electricity rates are driven by the following factors: (i) increasing transmission and distribution charges, (ii) the replacement of aging fossil fuel plants with newer, but in some cases more expensive plants, (iii) smart-grid architecture goals/investments and (iv) increasing commodity prices in certain markets. Rising retail electricity prices create a significant and growing market opportunity for

 

112


Table of Contents

lower-cost retail energy. Solar energy may be able to offer C&I and residential customers clean electricity at a price lower than their current utility rate. The following chart reflects the actual and projected average U.S. retail electricity prices across all sectors from 2011 to 2020:

Average U.S. Electricity Prices (Cents per KWh), 2011-2020

 

LOGO

Source: EIA

Movement to Distributed Generation. Although some locations are more suitable than others, solar energy systems can generate electricity nearly anywhere. By contrast, hydro-electricity power, wind or geothermal electricity generating systems are site-specific and location is critical. This means power generated by solar PV systems can sometimes be delivered at a relatively low cost to areas that were previously difficult to service, have high transmission and distribution charges or have high load requirements. Solar power can, in some places where the cost of generation is very high, replace or significantly reduce the use of expensive and environmentally detrimental power generation technologies, such as diesel generators.

Distributed solar energy systems provide customers with an alternative to traditional utility energy suppliers. Distributed resources are smaller in unit size and can be constructed at a customer’s site, removing the need for lengthy transmission and distribution lines. By bypassing the traditional utility suppliers, distributed energy systems delink the customer’s price of power from external factors such as volatile commodity prices, costs of the incumbent energy supplier and transmission and distribution charges. This makes it possible for distributed energy purchasers to buy energy at a predictable and stable price over a long period of time.

Solar Power Generation Typically Coincides with the Times of Peak Energy Demand and the Highest Cost of Energy. Solar energy systems generate most of their electricity during the afternoon hours, when the energy from the sun is strongest. This generally corresponds to peak demand hours and the most expensive energy prices. Certain markets offer pricing incentives for power produced during peak demand hours, which often benefits solar power.

Acceptance and Support for Solar Energy. Solar as an asset class for investment dollars continues to see increased acceptance because solar energy: (i) is a reliable and predictable energy output; (ii) has low and predictable operational and maintenance costs; (iii) is lower risk than other energy sources due to minimal asset complexity and use of proven technologies; and (iv) does not face commodity risk.

 

113


Table of Contents

Solar Energy Markets

Set forth below is a summary of the key markets in which the projects in our initial portfolio operate.

United States

In the United States, solar PV installations have grown at a CAGR of 59.9% from 2010 to 2013, and are projected to grow at an annualized rate of 8.3% from 2013 to 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The following chart reflects the actual and projected growth in solar PV installations by residential, commercial and utility segments from 2010 to 2020:

U.S. Solar PV Installations (GW), 2010-2020

 

LOGO

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

According to GTM Research and SEIA, solar represented the second-largest source of new electricity generating capacity in the United States in 2013, exceeded only by natural gas.

Utility Segment. Aggregate United States utility solar installations in 2012 and 2013 were 4.6 GW, representing a total investment of $10.0 billion. During the period from 2014 through 2020, 13.1 GW of utility-scale solar installations are expected, requiring an aggregate investment of $18.2 billion.

C&I Segment. Aggregate United States C&I solar installations in 2012 and 2013 were 2.1 GW, representing a total investment of $8.5 billion. During the period from 2014 through 2020, 18.1 GW of C&I solar installations are expected, requiring an aggregate investment of $35.8 billion.

Customers in the C&I segment are split between those that choose to lease the system or sign a PPA and those that purchase the solar system outright (i.e. in a cash purchase). According to GTM Research, approximately 72% of U.S. C&I solar installations in 2012 were structured as leases or PPAs.

Residential Segment. Aggregate United States residential solar installations in 2012 and 2013 were 1.3 GW, representing a total investment of $6.6 billion. During the period from 2014 through 2020, 12.1 GW of residential solar installations are expected, requiring an aggregate investment of $30.4 billion.

 

114


Table of Contents

Customers in the residential segment are split between those that choose to lease the system or sign a PPA and those that purchase the solar system outright (i.e., in a cash purchase). According to GTM Research, approximately 52% of U.S. residential solar installations in 2012 were structured as leases or PPAs.

Unless otherwise noted, all U.S. data above are according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Renewable Portfolio Standard. United States state RPS and targets have been a key driver of the expansion of solar power and will continue to drive solar power installations in many areas of the United States. As of March 2013, 29 states and the District of Columbia have RPS in place, and ten other states have non-binding goals supporting renewable energy. The following chart represents renewable portfolio programs, standards and targets by state as of March 2013:

Overview of U.S. State RPS and Targets

 

LOGO

Source: Edison Electric Institute

Our Other Core Markets

In addition to the United States, we intend to acquire, own, and operate assets in Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile, all of which have favorable attributes for growth of solar generation.

Canada. In 2012, total electricity generation capacity in Canada reached 134 GW and is expected to grow to 164 GW in 2035, according to the National Energy Board of Canada. Driven by government support for renewable energy at both federal and provincial levels, Canada installed a total of 744 MW of solar generation in 2012 and 2013, representing an investment of $2.4 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Canada expects to install 3.3 GW of solar generation during the period from 2014 to 2020, requiring an aggregate investment of $6.4 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

 

115


Table of Contents

United Kingdom. Currently, the U.K. government supports the development of renewable energy projects through ROCs and feed-in tariffs, or “FiTs.” The market continues to be active in utility PV under the ROC scheme, and commercial and residential PV markets have experienced low but sustained growth in recent years.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, solar installations in the United Kingdom in 2012 and 2013 totaled 1.9 GW, representing a total investment of $7.4 billion. During the period from 2014 to 2020, 14.0 GW of solar installations are expected, requiring an aggregate investment of $25.9 billion.

Chile. In October 2013, Chile increased its clean energy generation target to 20% by 2025, from their prior target of 10% by 2024. The target applies to new capacity contracted starting from June 2013 in Chile’s Central and Norte Grande Interconnected System (SIC and SING), the two largest power systems in the country. With Chile’s electricity demand expected to almost double by 2025 to 105TWh of power consumption annually, the 20% target represents a net addition of up to 7.4GW of renewable capacity, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Chile is well positioned for substantial growth in renewable capacity through solar generation, driven by favorable conditions such as having some of the highest rates of solar insolation in the world, the new 20% renewable target, and, in some cases, solar generation already being competitive with wholesale pricing. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 4.7 GW of solar installations are expected in Chile during the period from 2014 to 2020, requiring an aggregate investment of $6.8 billion.

Government Incentives for Solar Energy

Increasing concerns regarding additional energy requirements, grid architecture and distributed generation goals, security of energy supply, consequences of greenhouse gas emissions and fossil-fuel prices have resulted in support for governmental policies and programs at the federal, state, local and provincial level of our markets that support electricity generation from renewable energy sources such as solar power. These programs provide for various incentives and financial mechanisms, including, in the United States, accelerated tax depreciation, tax credits, cash grants and rebate programs, which serve to reduce the cost and to accelerate the adoption of renewable generation facilities. These incentives help catalyze private sector investments in renewable generation and efficiency measures, including the installation and operation of solar generation facilities. See “Business—Government Incentives” for a discussion of government programs and incentives applicable to our business.

 

116


Table of Contents

BUSINESS

About Yieldco

We are a dividend growth-oriented company formed to own and operate contracted clean power generation assets acquired from SunEdison and unaffiliated third parties. Our business objective is to acquire high-quality contracted cash flows, primarily from owning solar generation assets serving utility, commercial and residential customers. Over time, we intend to acquire other clean power generation assets, including wind, natural gas, geothermal and hydro-electricity, as well as hybrid energy solutions that enable us to provide contracted power on a 24/7 basis. We believe the renewable power generation segment is growing more rapidly than other power generation segments due in part to the emergence in various energy markets of “grid parity,” which is the point at which renewable energy sources can generate electricity at a cost equal to or lower than prevailing electricity prices. We expect retail electricity prices to continue to rise due to increasing fossil fuel commodity prices, required investments in generation plants and transmission and distribution infrastructure and increasing regulatory costs. We believe we are well-positioned to capitalize on the growth in renewable power electricity generation, both through project originations and transfers from our Sponsor as well as through acquisitions from unaffiliated third parties. We will benefit from the development pipeline, asset management experience and relationships of our Sponsor, which as of December 31, 2013 had a 3.4 GW pipeline of development stage solar projects and approximately 1.9 GW of self-developed and third party developed solar power generation assets under management. Our Sponsor will provide us with a dedicated management team that has significant experience in clean power generation. We believe we are well-positioned for substantial growth due to the high-quality, diversification and scale of our project portfolio, the PPAs we have with creditworthy counterparties, our dedicated management team and our Sponsor’s project origination and asset management capabilities.

Our initial portfolio will consist of solar projects located in the United States, its unincorporated territories, Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile with total nameplate capacity of 409.3 MW. All of these projects will have long-term PPAs with creditworthy counterparties. We intend to rapidly expand and diversify our initial project portfolio by acquiring clean utility-scale and distributed generation assets located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile, each of which we expect will also have a long-term contracted PPA with a creditworthy counterparty. Growth in our project portfolio will be driven by our relationship with our Sponsor, including access to its project pipeline, and by our access to unaffiliated third party developers and owners of clean generation assets in our core markets.

Immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, we will enter into the Support Agreement with our Sponsor, which will require our Sponsor to offer us additional qualifying projects from its development pipeline that are projected to generate an aggregate of at least $175.0 million of Projected FTM CAFD by the end of 2016. We refer to these projects as the “Call Right Projects.” Specifically, the Support Agreement requires our Sponsor to offer us:

 

    after the consummation of this offering and prior to the end of 2015, solar projects that have Projected FTM CAFD of at least $75.0 million; and

 

    during calendar year 2016, solar projects that have Projected FTM CAFD of at least $100.0 million.

If the amount of Projected FTM CAFD of the projects we acquire under the Support Agreement through the end of 2015 is less than $75.0 million, or the amount of Projected FTM CAFD of the projects we acquire under the Support Agreement during 2016 is less than $100.0 million, our Sponsor has agreed that it will continue to offer sufficient Call Right Projects until the total Projected FTM CAFD aggregate commitment has been satisfied. The Call Right Projects that are specifically identified in the

 

117


Table of Contents

Support Agreement currently have a total nameplate capacity of 1.8 GW. We believe the currently identified Call Right Projects will be sufficient to satisfy a majority of the target minimum threshold of Projected FTM CAFD through the end of 2015 and a meaningful portion of the minimum threshold of Projected FTM CAFD for 2016. The Support Agreement provides that our Sponsor is required to update the list of Call Right Projects with additional qualifying Call Right Projects from its pipeline until we have acquired projects under the Support Agreement that have the specified minimum amount of Projected FTM CAFD for each of the periods covered by the Support Agreement.

In addition, the Support Agreement grants us a right of first offer with respect to any solar projects (other than Call Right Projects) located in the United States and its unincorporated territories, Canada, the United Kingdom, Chile and certain other jurisdictions that our Sponsor decides to sell or otherwise transfer during the five-year period following the completion of this offering. We refer to these projects as the “ROFO Projects.” The Support Agreement does not identify the ROFO Projects since our Sponsor will not be obligated to sell any project that would constitute a ROFO Project. As a result, we do not know when, if ever, any ROFO Projects or other assets will be offered to us. In addition, in the event that our Sponsor elects to sell such assets, it will not be required to accept any offer we make to acquire any ROFO Project and, following the completion of good faith negotiations with us, our Sponsor may choose to sell such assets to a third party or not sell the assets at all.

We believe we are well-positioned to capitalize on additional growth opportunities in the clean energy industry. Demand for renewable energy among our customer segments is accelerating due to the emergence of grid parity in certain segments of our target markets, the lack of commodity price risk in renewable energy generation and strong political and social support. In addition, growth is driven by the ability to locate renewable energy generating assets at a customer site, which reduces our customers’ transmission and distribution costs. We believe that we are already capitalizing on the favorable growth dynamics in the clean energy industry, as illustrated by the following examples:

 

    Grid Parity.    We evaluate grid parity on an individual site or customer basis, taking into account numerous factors including the customer’s geographical location and solar availability, the terrain or roof orientation where the system will be located, cost to install, prevailing electricity rates and any demand or time-of-day use charges. One of our projects located in Chile provides approximately 100 MW of utility-scale power to a mining company under a 20-year PPA at a price below the current wholesale price of electricity in that region. We believe that additional grid parity opportunities will arise in other markets with growing energy demand, increasing power prices and favorable solar attributes.

 

    Distributed Generation.    We own and operate a 74.1 MW distributed generation platform with a footprint in 9 states across the United States and Puerto Rico with commercial customers who currently purchase electricity from us under long-term PPAs at prices at or below local retail electricity rates. These distributed generation projects reduce our customers’ transmission and distribution costs because they are located on the customer’s site. By bypassing the traditional electrical suppliers and transmission systems, distributed energy systems delink the customer’s electricity price from external factors such as volatile commodity prices and costs of the incumbent energy supplier. This makes it possible for distributed energy purchasers to buy electricity at predictable and stable prices over the duration of a long-term contract.

As our addressable market expands, we expect there will be significant additional opportunities for us to own clean energy generation assets and provide contracted, reliable power at competitive prices to the customer segments we serve, which we believe will sustain and enhance our future growth.

We intend to use a portion of CAFD generated by our project portfolio to pay regular quarterly cash dividends to holders of our Class A common stock. Our initial quarterly dividend will be set at

 

118


Table of Contents

$         per share of Class A common stock, or $         per share on an annualized basis. We established our initial quarterly dividend level based upon a targeted payout ratio of approximately     % of projected annual cash available for distribution. Our objective is to pay our Class A common stockholders a consistent and growing cash dividend that is sustainable on a long-term basis. Based on our forecast and the related assumptions and our intention to acquire assets with characteristics similar to those in our initial portfolio, we expect to grow our cash available for distribution and increase our quarterly cash dividends over time. Prospective investors should read “Cash Dividend Policy,” including our financial forecast and related assumptions, and “Risk Factors,” including the risks and uncertainties related to our forecasted results, completion of construction of projects and acquisition opportunities, in their entirety.

About our Sponsor

We believe our relationship with our Sponsor provides us with the opportunity to benefit from our Sponsor’s expertise in solar technology, project development, finance, management and operations. Our Sponsor is a solar industry leader with a well-established global brand and a long history of developing, financing owning and operating solar energy projects. As of December 31, 2013, our Sponsor had a development pipeline of approximately 3.4 GW and solar power generation assets under management of approximately 1.9 GW, comprised of over 918 solar generation facilities across 12 countries. These projects were managed by a dedicated team using three renewable energy operation centers globally. As of December 31, 2013, our Sponsor had approximately 6,300 employees.

Purpose of Yieldco

We intend to create value for holders of our Class A common stock by achieving the following objectives:

 

    acquiring long-term contracted cash flows from clean power generation assets with creditworthy counterparties;

 

    growing our business by acquiring contracted clean power generation assets from our Sponsor and third parties;

 

    capitalizing on the expected high growth in the clean power generation market, which is projected to require over $2.9 trillion of investment over the period from 2013 through 2020, of which $802 billion is expected to be invested in solar PV generation assets;

 

    creati