Impax falls short of target as energy fund closes on €357m

The fund’s predecessor is now 95 percent divested, while the new fund has made investments in Germany, France and Norway.

London-based firm Impax Asset Management has closed its third renewables fund on €357 million, falling short of its original €500 million target.

Impax New Energy Investors III approached the European Investment Bank for funding in mid-2015, with the EIB eventually signing off a €50 million commitment in December 2016. It held a €149 million first close that month.

The fund subsequently reached €303 million in November and had invested in a 30MW pipeline of construction-ready wind assets in Germany and a 22MW operating wind farm in France.

LPs in the fund include UK-based investors such as local authority pension schemes in Clwyd, Merseyside and Haringey, according to Infrastructure Investor data, while Companies House also lists Finnish state pension Valtion Eläkerahasto, Japan Trustee Services Bank and Conseq Investment Management as fellow LPs.

Despite the reduced size of the fundraising, Impax chief executive Ian Simm told Infrastructure Investor there remains a lot of interest in funds investing in continental European renewable energy assets and added that the group also sees opportunities in North America.

Simm said NEF III will be targeting a net double-digit return and revealed it has agreed a third investment in a hydropower platform in Norway. Impax’s funds typically invests in greenfield assets before selling once operational. The fund is expected to be fully invested over the next two to three years.

NEF III raised €28 million more than its predecessor, which closed in September 2011 on €329 million and has now realised 95 percent of its assets. Simm declined to provide updated figures on the fund but the vehicle had returned 1.15 times cash drawn when 70 percent realised earlier this year.