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Could Bank Of America Be On The Verge Of Bailing Out SunEdison?

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Court documents filed in the SunEdison bankruptcy case have shed light on a possible way out for the one-time darling of the clean energy world, with information suggesting Bank of America may step up to the plate to save the company.

Earlier this week I reported on the current goings on between SunEdison, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, and its two yieldcos, TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global. Ongoing discussions have begun between the parties to resolve the numerous claims the two yieldcos have laid against their parent company.

At the end of my piece I suggested that both yieldcos would be relying on outright acquisitions by larger companies to remedy their respective ships. However, it looks as if it is SunEdison that might be thrown an unlooked-for lifeline.

A shareholder in the SunEdison bankruptcy case, Stephen Miller, has submitted a ‘Motion To Meet In Chambers’ with Judge Stuart Bernstein. The filing is short, and to the point:

  1. I have developed enthusiastic interest with Bank of America to finance the emergence of SunE from bankruptcy. The process must be kept confidential or it won’t work.
  2. The bank must be sure the court agrees before it commits financing.
  3. The work will take from four to seven weeks to complete.

That is the sum of the information that is currently available, and unsurprisingly no one is saying anything more than what is legally required to be out in the public.

What we do know is Bank of America’s past involvement in clean energy involvement and history — which, from even a cursory glance, is not minor. This year alone, Bank of America has not only been involved in a round of financing for leading American solar company SolarCity — providing $188 million, the second as part of an existing energy tax equity investment program between SolarCity and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (and an unnamed investor) — but also signed up to the 100% renewable energy target initiative RE100, committing to become carbon neutral and purchase 100% renewable electricity by 2020.

More importantly, however, is the industry-leading $125 billion environmental business initiative Bank of America initiated in July of 2015, in which it committed to increasing the company’s current environmental business initiative up from $50 billion to a whopping $125 billion. Bank of America intends to use those funds to lend, invest, raise capital, advise, and develop financial solutions for clients around the world.

“We are putting our financial capital, our intellectual capital, and the strength of our partnerships to work to help create a better future for all of us,” said Brian Moynihan, chief executive officer, Bank of America, in 2015.

“We will continue to work with partners around the globe to develop innovative and scalable solutions that attract new investors and additional capital to clean energy and low-carbon infrastructure opportunities,” added Purna Saggurti, Bank of America Merrill Lynch chairman of Global Corporate and Investment Banking.

Given the number of SunEdison assets already sold off, and the apparent desire for yieldcos TerraForm Power and Global to step out of their parent’s shadow, we might see the reemergence of SunEdison a lot sooner. And then again, this whole idea may come crashing down around their heads. It’s going to be one or the other, no doubt about it.

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