Omnes Capital backs Italian biomass firm

The former Credit Agricole Private Equity is supporting Milan-based Futuris as it looks to invest €220m in biomass plants over the next few years.

Omnes Capital, the French fund manager which was known as Credit Agricole Private Equity until a year ago, has invested €4 million in Italy’s Futuris with a view to making an additional investment of up to €10 million.

Futuris is aiming to develop 54 megawatts (MW) of installed biomass capacity between now and 2016, for a total investment of €220 million. The firm’s development plan is based on the construction of ten power stations, three of which are already operational, with a further three having received administrative authorisations.

The Milan-based company was founded in 2009 by a group of managers led by Rodolfo Danielli, the former chief operating officer of Italian cement firm Italcementi and EMEA director at Air Liquide, the French gas business.

Its aims are to: develop and acquire projects involving the use of forest-based biomass; invest in the construction of heat and power generation and cogeneration plants; and operate power plants with a view to optimising logistics and production “as part of an integrated organisational system”.

While Futuris’ medium-term aim is to become a major player in the biomass sector in Italy, it will then look to expand outside Italy, primarily within the Mediterranean region.

Omnes Capital was formed around a year ago when Credit Agricole Private Equity was sold by French bank Credit Agricole to London-based private equity secondaries specialist Coller Capital.

The Omnes Capital team has invested in 27 infrastructure companies or projects in the wind, solar, hyrdoelectric and biomass sectors through its Capenergie and Capenergie 2 funds, which together amount to €240 million.