US investment company KKR has signed a definitive agreement to buy an 80% stake in Gestamp Asetym Solar (Gestamp Solar) from green energy firm Gestamp Renewables, valuing the company at around $1bn.

KKR will support Gestamp Solar’s strategic objective to increase its installed capacity to up to 2.5GW by 2020.

Founded in 2005, Gestamp Solar is a solar photovoltaic (PV) power developer operating in 18 countries.

The firm currently has 300MW of PV projects under construction or in operation, along with another 2.2GW of PV projects in various stages of development.

"This is an attractive time to invest in a leading owner and developer of solar PV plants."

KKR European Infrastructure head Jésus Olmos said: "This is an attractive time to invest in a leading owner and developer of solar PV plants.

"The company has a highly experienced and entrepreneurial management team, an outstanding track record of developing and constructing its own assets, and an attractive advanced portfolio of development projects.

"Gestamp Solar will be a key platform for KKR, developing utility scale solar PV on a global level and offers the opportunity to own development capabilities in solar PV complementary to our presence in operational wind and solar assets worldwide through our partnership with Acciona and KKR investments in the US and Canada."

Gestamp Solar CEO Jorge Barredo said: "We believe that KKR is the right firm to open an exciting new chapter in Gestamp Solar’s successful history.

"We look forward to capturing the enormous potential of the solar PV market together."

The deal is expected to be closed by the end of this year after receiving regulatory approvals, third-party consents and customary closing conditions.