Coller Capital Targets $40 Million of Wind, Solar Power Deals

March 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

The former private equity unit of
Credit Agricole SA (ACA) said it’s considering as much as 30 million
euros ($40 million) of Italian wind and French solar and
hydropower deals.

Capenergie 2, a renewable energy fund, may invest more than
10 million euros in an Italian wind farm developer, as well as
take a majority stake in a wind farm, said Serge Savasta, head
of renewable energy at the unit that changed its name to Omnes
Capital after its takeover by Coller Capital Ltd. in December.

“We are also looking at deals in northern Europe and we’re
preparing for the renewal of the French mini-hydro
concessions,” Savasta said in a phone interview. “This will be
an opportunity to acquire assets, so we will be part of this
with other French and European companies.”

France is aiming to get 23 percent of its energy from
renewable sources by 2020. Savasta is seeking to tap the French
market again after recent regulatory issues, while the dawn of
grid parity, where the cost of alternative energy becomes equal
to or less than purchasing electricity from the grid, will also
bolster the market.

“There are good deals in neighboring European countries
for medium-term investments because, whatever the regulations,
we are getting closer and closer to grid parity,” Savasta said.

France in December 2010 suspended solar-energy projects for
three months after a boom in installations. The government in
March last year cut subsidies for the power by 20 percent and
capped annual installed capacity. Tenders are now held for solar
installations of more than 100 kilowatts.

Solar Tender

Capenergie, which so far has raised 122 million euros out
of a 200 million-euro target, is also expecting to succeed in a
French solar tender, said Savasta. It submitted almost 100
megawatts of ground-mounted solar projects with a French panel
maker and a project developer. Investment is expected to be 5
million to 10 million euros.

The fund has a dual investment strategy, he said. It
invests minority capital for four to five years in companies
that develop or build assets. When the company requires
additional money to pay for projects, Capenergie then takes a
majority equity stake, he said.

For Capenergie 1, which raised 109 million euros, about 70
percent was invested in France and the rest in Europe. While
Capenergie 2 follows the same investment strategy, the bank
plans to invest 50 percent in France and the remainder in
Europe. It’s already invested 50 million euros in seven
companies operating 100 megawatts, Savasta said. Three of these
were in France, two in Germany and two in Belgium.

The unit plans to complete fundraising for Capenergie 2 by
June. Once all the money has been invested, expected to take
place in 2014, it will consider another fund.

“It’s definitely our wish to carry on our funds in clean
energy and we would definitely love to see a Capenergie 3 in two
years time,” said Savasta. “It will be bigger than our current
fund, but not too large, as we focus on small to medium-sized

Capenergie 2 invested in German solar power company Abakus
Solar AG in January and in March last year it directed money
into Belgian solar company Ikaros Solar SA.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story:
Louise Downing in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg in London at

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