Impax Group plc, the AIM listed environmental financial services company, has held a €60 million ($73 million) first close of its renewable energy private equity fund, Impax New Energy Investors LP.
The firm is hoping that the fund, which will invest in renewable energy and related sectors in Western Europe, will reach its target fund size of €125 million within the next twelve months.
Ian Simm, the newly appointed chief executive of Impax Group, told PEO that the fund would exploit the opportunities arising from the 2001 Renewables Directive, an instrument which sets targets for each EU state to buy a certain proportion of their energy from renewable sources by 2010.
“A typical example [of the type of investment the new fund will make] would be a 50 megawatt wind farm looking for €10-15 million of equity finance,” he said.
He added that the fund may also invest in other renewable energy sources such as biomass and hydropower.
The fund is being sponsored by Dexia Credit Local, a provider of finance to the energy and infrastructure sectors. It has also received commitments from other investors including British Airways Pension Fund, Co-operative Insurance Society, Universities Superannuation Scheme, and South Yorkshire Pensions Authority. Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein is acting as placement agent.
Impax Group has been operating in the environmental asset management sector since 1994. It operates two other private equity funds: the 1998 vintage Photovoltaic Market Transformation Initiative, a $25 million fund investing in solar power projects in India, Kenya and Morocco; and the 2003 Recycling Fund, which invests in the UK’s recycling sector.
Prior to being appointed group chief executive, Simm was managing director of the group’s fund management arm, Impax Asset Management.