BlackRock in €650m European renewables fund close

The asset manager has surpassed its initial €500m target with the help of 25 institutional investors from Europe and Asia.

BlackRock Real Assets has clinched a €650 million oversubscribed final close for its European renewables fund.

The final close surpassed the fund’s original €500 million target thanks to commitments from 25 institutional investors from Europe and Asia. BlackRock’s Renewable Income Europe has already invested about a quarter of its capital in nine wind and solar projects in the UK and Ireland and will seek further investments across Western Europe. 

The global asset manager is also raising a global renewables vehicle – BlackRock Global Renewable Power II – which has amassed at least $290 million to date, according to Infrastructure Investor Research & Analytics. In December 2014, BlackRock raised £500 million ($653 million; €588 million) for the open-ended BlackRock Renewable Income UK.

“Since 2012, BlackRock has invested in 80 wind and solar projects globally and manages over $2.5 billion of equity assets in the renewable power sector,” commented Rory O’Connor, BlackRock’s head of European renewables investment and manager of the just-closed European renewables fund.

In a March keynote interview, BlackRock head of real assets Jim Barry spoke about the size of the asset manager’s renewables operation: “We now have 23 investment professionals and that’s just on the investment side – then there’s this whole operating platform that sits behind it. I don’t think there’s any other team like it in the world. We have a footprint in Europe, the US and soon Latin America and Asia over the next 18 months.”

Outside renewables, BlackRock is focusing on North American conventional power, having recently hired Pat Eilers from private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners to build that strategy, in a move that could lead to new products. BlackRock has so far only invested in renewables in North America, although it has made conventional power investments in Mexico.