Aquila falls short for latest fund with €154m raise

The company said the fundraise was achieved despite ‘challenging political and economic’ circumstances.

European renewables fund manager Aquila Capital has raised €154 million for its new London-listed fund, falling short of its €300 million target.

The gross proceeds for the Hamburg-based manager’s European Renewables Income Fund come a little over two weeks after it was launched on the London Stock Exchange.  While much of Aquila’s investments have come through the private markets, the manager was looking to “speak to another audience”,  Lars Meissinger, head of sales management and business development at Aquila, told us at the time.

However, Ian Nolan, chair of the fund and former chief investment officer of the UK’s Green Investment Bank, said in a statement that the group was “extremely pleased given the challenging political and economic environment to have raised nearly €155m million at launch”, which he said came from “high-quality institutional investors”.

“It is one of the most successful share placings by a listed fund this year and the first continental European manager in the segment. With a groundswell of interest in the asset class and a strong pipeline of opportunities, we look forward to playing a key role in developing the rapidly expanding renewable energy sector in Europe on behalf of our investors, stakeholders and society at large,” he added.

While the fund had ruled out investing in the UK to provide diversification to investors who have already committed to other renewables funds targeting the UK, a source said turmoil in the country in recent weeks had affected investor confidence leading to Aquila missing its target.

Other clean energy funds have recently listed in London and not reached their targets. The Gresham House Energy Storage Fund launched in November with a £200 million ($259 million; €223.8 million) target. It raised only £100 million initially and a further £50 million this week. Also in November, Sustainable Development Capital raised £100 million on the London Stock Exchange, falling short of its £150 million target.