Investment fund discovers renewable energy potential in CEE

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The EnerCap Power Fund, a closed-end 10 year private equity fund handled by the Guernsey, UK-based fund manager EnerCap Capital Partners, has its first closing on Oct. 25, committing some £75 million ($51 million) to projects in renewable energy equity in the Czech Republic and across the Central and Eastern Europe region.

EnerCap Capital Partners fo-cuses on private equity projects in renewable energy. With its funds management team based in Prague, and EnerCap as its local partner and adviser, EnerCap Power Fund’s final size is expected to be in excess of €100 million (about $142 million). The EnerCap Power Fund’s investments are expected to bring a minimum 25% return rate. “We expect a higher return based on the increased value that can be achieved through the sale of a portfolio of operational wind farms from the region as has been demonstrated by recent sales of portfolios both in Western Europe and in the CEE,” Alastair Hammond, EnerCap Power Fund’s chief operating officer, told Czech Business Weekly.

Hammond said that four investors have already joined the fund. Two of them are European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). EIB announced an investment of €25 million ($35.5 million) into the fund on Sept. 28, while the EBRD promised to invest €20 million on Oct. 10, an amount that can rise to €25 million subject to other investors’ commitments. The remaining investors are two institutions that Hammond declined to disclose due to confidentiality agreements. He said they are an Austrian bank that has financed renewable energy projects in the region, including the Czech Republic, and an Irish investor that is widening its investment profile from real estate to include renewable energy. “These [commitments] are driven by an increased appetite for renewable energy investments following the success of renewable energy companies, particularly those involved in wind generation,” he said. (full article)

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