Fund Solutions

This Week’s Fund News: Nest Invests in Offshore Wind Farm

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news about funds designed to meet sustainable investing criteria, including Octopus Energy, Nest, GLIL Infrastructure, CPP Investments, AimCo, Railpen, ICG, Algebris Investments, JOHCM and Greenfinch.   

UK-based Octopus Energy and workplace pension scheme Nest have partnered with investment manager GLIL Infrastructure to invest £400 million in the Hornsea One Offshore Wind Farm. Octopus and Nest will invest £200 million between them, with GLIL investing a further £200 million, combining to acquire a 12.5% in the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Based in Yorkshire, the farm generates 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in clean energy per year. This marks Octopus’ third investment in the offshore wind sector, following investments in England’s Lincs Offshore Wind Farm and the Borssele V Offshore Wind Farm in the Netherlands. Zoisa North-Bond, Octopus Energy’s CEO, said: “Harnessing the UK’s strong wind resources out at sea will help provide energy security and bring down energy bills.” Octopus has also completed a fundraiser with existing investors, which the firm says totals US$550 million. Octopus’ UK tech and global businesses will receive a US$325 million investment, with an additional US$225 million commitment from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) as part of a strategic partnership to enhance the integration of renewables into the power system. Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy’s Founder and CEO, said: “We are in grasping distance of a clean, cheap, secure energy system – but it needs continued boldness from innovators like Octopus, and the backing of visionary investors like CPP Investments, Generation, Origin and Tokyo Gas.”  

Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), a Canadian institutional investment manager with US$168 billion in AUM, and UK pension scheme Railpen, have jointly acquired a 94% stake in Constantine Energy Storage (CES). CES is a grid-scale battery energy storage platform which plans to invest more than £400 million to build out a pipeline of battery energy storage projects in the UK to support the country’s energy transition. The projects are currently under development by Constantine Group subsidiary Pelagic Energy Developments. Ben Hawkins, AIMCo’s Head of Infrastructure, Renewables and Sustainable Investing, said: “The acquisition of CES is an ideal fit for our growing global portfolio of high-quality infrastructure assets. Grid-scale batteries are a critical enabler of the UK energy transition, and the country’s net-zero ambitions.” 

Alternative asset manager Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) has announced its debut infrastructure fund, ICG Infra I, has acquired British Solar Renewables (BSR). BSR is one of the UK’s largest integrated solar developers, and since its inception in 2011 has developed, built and operated nearly a gigawatt of solar and energy storage plants in the UK. ICG Infrastructure Equity raised €1.5 billion in investor commitments in February 2022, and as part of its new partnership will support BSR’s growth with the aim of installing 1.5 GW of operational renewable capacity in the next five years – which could power 375,000 homes. Guillaume d’Engremont, ICG’s Head of Infrastructure, said: “We are confident that BSR’s strong management team, robust pipeline of projects and sophisticated operations positions the firm for continued growth and impact.”  

Global asset manager Algebris Investments’ first private equity fund, the Algebris Green Transition Fund, is acquiring a majority stake in Italian waste management solutions firm Omnisyst. Algebris will secure a 70% share, while Founder and current CEO Ezio Speziali will retain a 30% stake and his position as CEO. Omnisyst provides services in waste management, logistics, waste treatment, recycling, and material recovery to the private sector. It has a fully digital process and real-time traceability, using proprietary software allowing the company to monitor and offset waste management-related carbon emissions. The company was founded in 1995 in Milan and currently generates approximately €40 million in revenue. The Algebris Green Transition Fund has recently closed its first round of fundraising, raising around €200 million from investors. Luca Valerio Camerano, the Algebris Green Transition Fund’s Senior Partner, said: “Omnisyst’s solutions allow companies to include waste as a new chapter of value creation and ensure adequate management of the entire journey of waste, reducing companies’ business risks and costs.”  

J O Hambro Capital Management (JOHCM) has announced the launch of the JOHCM Global Select Shariah Fund. The Irish-domiciled OEIC fund will be managed by Nudgem Richyal and aims to achieve long-term total returns by investing in a concentrated portfolio of global Shariah-compliant securities. The fund will exclude investments in non-Shariah compliant products including gambling, defence and financial services. Additionally, there will be a Shariah Adviser to the fund who will be responsible for monitoring and reviewing the fund structure and investments, ensuring Shariah principles compliance. Richyal said: “By applying the successful and long-established process within our global and international select funds into a Shariah-compliant vehicle, we feel we can generate compelling returns for a large number of traditionally underserved clients.”  

Frankfurt-based clean energy investor Greenfinch has announced it has acquired a solar portfolio from photovoltaic systems and electricity storage devices provider DZ-4. Greenfinch is a joint investment vehicle established by a fund managed by Impax Asset Management and Bullfinch Asset AG. The portfolio acquired by Greenfinch includes 2,200 individual rooftop systems, consisting of solar systems and battery storage which are set up throughout Germany. Daniel von Preyss, Impax’s Head of Private Equity and Infrastructure, said: “The partnership with DZ-4 is an excellent addition to Greenfinch’s portfolio of decentralised generation assets, which is an exciting area of development in the renewables sector.” 

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