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European asset manager launches €500m renewables fund

Conquest is hoping to draw in institutional investors in its first vehicle targeting the sector so as to chase wind and solar assets across western Europe.

European financial adviser and asset manager Conquest has launched a €500 million renewable energy fund seeking construction-ready and brownfield projects in western Europe.

The firm is looking to raise equity from insurance companies, pension funds and other institutional investors as it seeks to garner capital for its first renewable energy vehicle since being set up in 2011.

The Conquest Renewable Yield Europe fund will have a buy-and-hold strategy and a 20-year tenure, although the firm says this can be extended to 30 years. The majority of the vehicle will be invested in onshore wind and solar projects while an unspecified portion will be set aside for hydropower and biomass investments. According to Conquest, there will be a strong focus on investing in assets in France, Germany, UK and Italy.

The firm added that investments will be inflation-linked and made on an unlevered or limited leverage equity basis. Conquest declined to comment on the target IRR of the fund.

According to Infrastructure Investor data, there are currently 23 funds in market seeking renewables investments in western Europe. Collectively, they are targeting over €3 billion in capital.

Conquest is led by managing director Frederic Palanque. Its advisory experience includes acting for developer Solairedirect on the sale of 23MW in France to a European investment vehicle backed by insurance companies in 2015. The advisory business stream is based in London while the asset management arm is registered in Luxembourg.