A spokesperson for London-based private equity firm Terra Firma told Infrastructure Investor that Mike Kinski, Stefan Thiele and Ingmar Wilhelm have been appointed co-heads of the firm’s renewable energy infrastructure team following the abrupt removal of Damian Darragh.
Darragh, who was a financial managing director and had been with Terra Firma for more than 20 years, had overseen a number of renewable energy infrastructure investments such as UK wind power firm Infinis and Italian solar operator RTR. Latterly, he had switched to more of a fundraising role for the firm’s debut renewable energy infrastructure fund, which has a $2 billion target.
With Darragh’s focus on fundraising, responsibility for portfolio companies had fallen more on the shoulders of Terra Firma veteran Kinski and also Thiele, who joined last year from German power firm EnBW. Wilhelm joined last month from Enel Green Power.
“Following a review we have asked Damian Darragh to leave the firm and appointed Mike Kinski, Stefan and Ingmar to jointly lead our Renewable Energy Infrastructure team going forward,” said a Terra Firma spokesperson.
“Mike, Stefan and Ingmar have outstanding financial, operational and transactional skills. In addition, as a team they bring strong leadership experience from corporate backgrounds, a proven talent for fundraising and a true passion for the sector.”
It is unclear what triggered the parting of ways, and which role the firm’s founder and chairman Guy Hands may have played in it. According to news reports, Tim Pryce had grown “disillusioned” with Darragh’s role in the fundraising.
Terra Firma sources declined to comment on the progress of fundraising, which is still in its early stages.
Darragh’s LinkedIn account says he is “on gardening leave”.
In all, Terra Firma has completed 18 renewable energy transactions worth a total of €2.5 billion. It has been investing in these assets since 2003 through its private equity funds.
The renewable energy infrastructure fundraising has been widely viewed as a test of Terra Firma’s ability to fight back from the loss of its £1.75 billion (€2.1 billion; $2.9 billion) investment in UK music group EMI from the €5.4 billion buyout fund which closed in 2006.