An investment fund has been established in Europe to provide venture capital to companies involved in the renewable energy field.
ANTWERPEN, Belgium, 2001-03-27 <SolarAccess.com> Sustainable Energy Ventures was established late last year with capital from Belgian, Dutch and French investors. One of the major stakeholders is Vlaamse Milieuholding, a large investment company for the environmental sector in Europe. The company has Euro 15.5 million in capital, and wants to increase to 50 million with a second offering this year. The initial capital is expected to be invested before the end of this year. The target sector includes wind, solar, hydro and biopower, hydrogen, geothermal power and heat pumps, and other renewable energy sources. It will also invest in energy management, energy efficiency, provision of energy services, co-generation, financial and other services which relate to the trading of green power certificates and emission rights, as well as IT-services and e-commerce activities which relate to renewables and energy efficiency. SEV was incorporated last December in Belgium. The draw-down period is limited to four years from initial closing, which means that all investments must be realised during this period and commitments not been drawn down at that time, will not be called. In addition to Vlaamse Milieuholding, major investors include the Dexia Bank, Artesia Banking, Bank Nagelmackers, ASN Aandelenfonds, and two pension funds, Vlaams Pensioenfonds and KBC Pensioenfonds. Although SEV is active on a global scale, it has a special interest in countries of the EU. It will look for companies with a proven track record in R&D, and will take a minority position in the company’s equity. Investments will be at least EUR 0.5 million. The investment objective is a minimum pre-tax internal rate of return of 15 to 20 percent after costs, and SEV intends to dispose of its investments over an average of five to seven years through trade sale or public offering. SEV currently holds investments in the Renewable & Energy Efficiency Fund for Emerging Countries (REEF), the Belgium turbine manufacturer Turbowinds, the ENE company which manufactures PV cells for extra-terrestrial applications, and in IF Flanders, an engineering company involved in cold heat storage.