Italian solar fund falls short of €300m initial target

Tages remains undeterred and is pondering the launch of another renewables vehicle following the €253m closing of its maiden attempt.

An Italian solar fund managed by investment manager Tages Capital has been brought to a €253 million close following new commitments from Aviva and Italian infrastructure investor Equiter.

The British insurer and the Intesa Sanpaolo subsidiary invested a further €43 million in the Tages Helios fund after it reached €210 million last month, although the closing falls short of the €300 million targeted by Tages when it launched in December 2015.

“The interest found in the market and the large number of photovoltaic assets currently [being sold] has moved us to assess the possibility of replicating in the near future the launch of a new fund with similar characteristics,” said Umberto Quadrino, president of Tages Capital.

A spokeswoman for the company said some interested investors were unable to complete due diligence on time, although they could be persuaded to join the firm’s future infrastructure funds.

The vehicle, which targets an IRR of 8 percent, secured about 75 percent of its commitments from insurance companies including Aviva, Generali and Unipol and a further 10 percent from Italian pension funds. The remainder was provided by banks and private investors.

Tages Helios has so far bought 157MW of Italian solar capacity, including 101MW acquired from First Reserve in August 2016 which it subsequently refinanced in January. While it is currently about 60 percent invested, Tages Capital said the fund has a “significant” pipeline it expects to secure deals from in the coming months as it seeks to consolidate the fragmented Italian solar market.

The launch of the solar fund was the firm’s first attempt at infrastructure investment. Its main expertise lies in alternative funds and distressed assets.