EIF collects $1bn in quick-fire fundraising

Energy Investors Funds (EIF) is targeting $1.7bn for its fourth US power fund, and expects to hold a final close by the end of the year.

Energy Investors Funds (EIF), a firm focused exclusively on power investments in the US, has raced through fundraising for its fourth US power fund, collecting $1 billion on its way to a $1.7 billion target in the past few months.

The firm expects to hold a final close on EIF United States Power Fund IV by the end of the year, according to a person with knowledge of the fundraising.

The fund was registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on 13 July. EIF, which closed its third fund in 2007 on $1.35 billion, focuses on independent power and utilities.

Managing partners John Buehler, Terence Darby and Herbert Magid lead the firm. The firm declined to comment.

EIF’s third fund was returning negative 8 percent over a one-year period, according to the Contra Costa County Employees’ Retirement System performance data as of 31 March, 2010. Fund II, which raised $750 million in 2005, was returning 0.4 percent over a one-year period. The first US power fund closed on $250 million in 2004 and was returning 27.6 percent over one year, according to Contra Costa performance numbers.

Earlier this year, EIF joined NTE Energy to form a joint venture to develop, construct and operate large-scale hybrid renewable energy facilities throughout the US. EIF NTE Hybrid Renewable Energy plans to build plants that combine solar, biomass and other renewable technologies with natural gas turbine technology to produce low-cost renewable sources of electricity in a clean and sustainable way, according to a statement.

EIF was in the news in February when one of its power plants exploded, killing several people and injuring more than 20 in Middletown, Connecticut. The firm invested in the Kleen Energy Plant from its second US power fund.

Atlantic-Pacific Capital is working as the placement agent for Fund IV.