Ancala launches bioenergy platform, buys 13MW portfolio

The news comes three months after the UK firm closed its mid-market fund on £400m.

Ancala Partners has acquired Biogen, an owner and operator of anaerobic digestion plants in the UK, from industry players Bedfordia Group and Kier Group.

The transaction was sealed through Ancala Bionenergy, which a spokesperson described to Infrastructure Investor as “a new platform, managed by Ancala Partners on behalf of specific Ancala Managed funds, who have further capital available to deploy if required”.

“The bioenergy platform is an area Ancala has been working on for some time given our view on opportunities in the sector, and started recently at the point of the Biogen transaction being completed [in] April 2017,” the spokesperson added. Ancala declined to disclose the deal's value.

Biogen runs a portfolio of seven anaerobic digestion plants in England “working with supermarkets, the hospitality industry, food manufacturers and local authorities” to recycle about 250,000 tonnes of food waste annually, the firm said.

The plants, which have a generation capacity of 13MW, are backed by a combination of index-linked Renewables Obligation Certificate, Feed-in-Tariffs and Renewable Heat Incentive subsidies.

“The team has over 10 years of experience in the sector and their operational excellence and commercial reach provide Ancala with an established platform from which to expand in the sector,” said Spence Clunie, Ancala’s managing partner.

The deal comes three months after Ancala closed its UK Mid-Market Infrastructure Platform on £400 million ($507 million; €474 million), the upper end of its £300 million to £400 million target range, thanks to commitments by an LP base primarily composed of UK-based pension funds.

According to the Berkshire Pension Fund, which last year pledged £50 million to the vehicle, Ancala’s fund is targeting an IRR of 9 percent, with returns to be fully delivered by 2024.