GIMV increases commitment to cleantech fund

Belgian investor GIMV has increased its investment in a clean technology fund run by Emerald Technology Ventures, as it looks to increase its exposure to the cleantech sector.

Private equity firm GIMV has committed another €18 million ($24 million) to a cleantech venture fund of Emerald Technology Ventures, taking the Belgian firm’s total allocation in the fund to €30 million.

Emerald invests in early and expansion stage companies mainly in Europe and North America. The fund, Emerald’s second cleantech vehicle, is focused on technologies in energy, materials and water. It closed recently at €135 million.

Frank De Leenheer, investor relations manager at GIMV, said: “There has been a lot of hype in the media around this sector in the last year but we have been attempting to move in for a number of years.  Because we have expertise in similar fields to clean technology, such as biofuels, we will make more investments in the sector both through Emerald and as direct investments.”

Dirk Boogmans, chief executive of GIMV, said his company is always seeking new future-oriented investments aside from the firm’s specialist areas of ICT and life sciences, so cleantech had always been an attractive field for the firm.

GIMV provides growth and buyout capital for companies in the information and communication technology and life sciences sectors, as well as more traditional areas. GIMV, which currently manages assets of around €1.5 billion, has been listed on Euronext Brussels since 1997.

Emerald was founded as SAM Private Equity and has offices in Zurich and Montreal. The firm manages around €285 million and has already acquired Identec Solutions, a wireless tracking company, and Vaperma, a developer of technology for ethanol and natural gas production.