Foresight targeting $640m for energy infra fund

 The firm expects to reach first close by year-end with the European Investment Bank among the LPs.  

Foresight Group, the UK-based infrastructure and private equity investor, is aiming for first close on its Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners (FEIP) fund by the end of the year, according to a source close to the fundraising.

FEIP is targeting £500 million ($640 million; €575 million) with a hard-cap of £700 million. The European Investment Bank has earmarked up to £100 million for the fund, the source said, adding that the fund has a “standard structure and terms”.

The fund’s strategy is to capture the long-term opportunities driven by the transformation of global energy markets. The fund will target renewable energy projects and their surrounding infrastructure, such as flexible generation and storage, and interconnection and transmission systems.

Foresight declined to comment on fundraising but speaking in general terms, Dan Wells, a partner with Foresight Group, said that the recent decision by Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement will make no difference to FEIP’s investment strategy, nor to the growth of the renewables industry.

On a US-level states have a lot of influence over their own energy policy and tax credits for renewables are locked in for several years, he said.  Globally, he believes there are leaders ready to step into the vacuum.

“The message from us is that it’s business as usual… It’s a setback for international climate progress but leadership will be taken up by China, which sees the need for clean progress and no longer sees a necessary trade-off between economic development and clean development. India has very ambitious goals for clean energy and so does Europe.”

Founded in 1984, Foresight is active in private equity, infrastructure and venture capital in the UK, US, southern Europe and Australia. In addition to FEIP, on the infrastructure side, it has the London-listed Foresight Solar Fund, which invests in UK ground-based solar plants.