JLEN float to raise £160m

John Laing will subscribe for 40% of the shares, up from the 29% originally anticipated.

UK-based developer John Laing today announced that it had received indication of aggregate demand worth £160 million (€192 million; $264 million) for shares in John Laing Environmental Assets Group, the environmental fund it plans to float in London this month.

John Laing Investment Limited, the company’s investment arm, intends to acquire 40 percent of the shares in its role as cornerstone investor. This is significantly in excess of the 29.9 percent cap it had originally set for its investment in the fund.

The company also opted to lower the fees it receives for managing the fund, which will comprise a base fee of 1.0 percent for the proportion of the portfolio value below £500 million and 0.8 percent for the value above – against the level of 1.0 percent below £1 billion and 0.9 percent above that was set previously. A new prospectus will soon be published to reflect these changes, John Laing said.

The firm announced the launch of JLEN last month, with a focus on operational UK assets in the renewables and waste management sectors. The fund’s target was £160 million, with the option to increase the size of the issue to around £174 million.

The vehicle will start its life with a seed portfolio of seven assets comprising one solar project (Amber Solar), three onshore wind farm projects (Bilsthorpe Wind, Castle Pill & Ferndale Wind and Hall Farm Wind), two waste processing projects (D&G Waste and ELWA Waste), and one wastewater treatment project (Tay Wastewater).

The onshore wind projects have a total generating capacity of 44 megawatts (MW), while the two solar plants have a combined capacity of 25 MW. The vehicle also plans to acquire Branden solar farm, subject to sufficient proceeds being raised upon IPO.

“We’re not a renewables fund. We’re an environmental infrastructure fund. So we have a greater investment remit breadth than dedicated renewables funds,” Chris Tanner, who will co-head the fund alongside David Hardy, told Infrastructure Investor last month.

Completion of the seed transactions is expected at or shortly after admission on the London Stock Exchange, which is scheduled for 31 March.