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SDCL to raise £500m after GIB setback

The new vehicle will begin making investments this year and will include commitments from SDCL’s former GIB consortium members.

UK-based investment firm Sustainable Development Capital is planning a new £500 million ($622 million; €586 million) fund following its unsuccessful attempt at acquiring the Green Investment Bank.

The new fund will be targeting capital commitments of £500 million while also hoping to receive a further £500 million in co-investment and financing from some of the members of the consortium the firm led in its failed bid for the UK’s GIB.

The group is believed to have included the Pension Protection Fund, Mitsui, General Electric and John Hancock, although the firm declined to state at this stage which of the investors plan on committing to the new fund. SDCL conceded defeat in its bid for the GIB following a High Court ruling that the government was entitled to award the vehicle to Macquarie, which is now expected to seal a £2 billion deal for the GIB imminently.

SDCL’s new fund will be targeting portfolio investments in both onshore and offshore wind, solar, biomass and wave sectors, chief executive Jonathan Maxwell told Infrastructure Investor. The firm is eyeing opportunities where it can deploy some construction equity and will be looking towards investments in Europe and North America.

Maxwell added that the fund’s strategy is broadly what it would have pursued had SDCL won its bid for the GIB, albeit with more international investments. Indeed, the fund is being brought to market now because of opportunities SDCL identified during its bid for the GIB and Maxwell said SDCL’s access to investments has widened as a result of its bid.

“We would like to have won – on the right terms – but it was a really big step forward for us and we've seen a tremendous amount of opportunities we wouldn't have seen before,” he explained.