UK solar fund in £130m IPO

Bluefield’s Solar Income Fund swept past its minimum fundraising target of £75m as it listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Bluefield, a London-based fund manager, at the end of last week raised £130 million (€150.3 million; $196.3 million) from an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange for its Solar Income Fund. The fund will target large-scale agricultural and industrial solar assets.

The fundraising was significantly more than the £75 million minimum target and featured a cornerstone commitment from CCLA Investment Management, the UK’s largest investor on behalf of charities and benevolent societies.

“Solar energy has the potential to be a major investment theme over the coming years, due to ease of deployment, stability of energy production and on-going cost reductions,” said John Rennocks, non-executive chairman of the fund, in a statement.

Bluefield was launched in 2009 and is led by three former executives of UK private equity and infrastructure fund manager Foresight Group: James Armstrong, Mike Rand and Giovanni Terranova. The three men have been involved in a combined £7 billion of renewable and conventional energy projects.

Since formation, Bluefield has been building an asset portfolio, managing large-scale solar energy infrastructure sites with on-site energy off-takers. For example, last year it funded the installation of 28 solar PV sites on land owned by UK utility Thames Water – providing Thames Water with an on-site energy source.

Bluefield is one of a number of UK renewable energy funds to seek capital on the London Stock Exchange. Last month, the Renewables Infrastructure Group, a new company, said it was seeking £300 million from an IPO, while Tritax recently unveiled plans to raise around £30 million in four tranches for investment in wind turbine developments.