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ACP seeds renewable energy fund

The fund’s manager NextEnergy Capital, a renewable energy-focussed merchant bank, is looking to use abundant leverage available for clean energy infrastructure projects.

ACP Capital, a merchant bank and asset manager, has seeded a renewable energy fund, targeting assets in Italy and Southern Europe. It will be managed by NextEnergy Capital, a renewable energy-focussed merchant bank.

The fund has €50 million ($79 million) to deploy, of which the majority has come from ACP Capital. The remainder has been put up by Michael Bonte-Friedheim and Stefano Sommadossi, the founders of NextEnergy Capital.

ACP has the option to commit up to €150 million once its initial investment has been spent. Despite the credit crunch loans of between four and nine times equity are still provided by banks to the renewable energy sector, and NextEnergy is targeting approximately €1.5 billion of investments using leverage.   

Bonte-Friedheim, who was formerly a managing director in Goldman Sachs’ investment banking department’s energy and power team, told PEO: “The renewable energy sector is incredibly important from the ethical and environmental perspective as well as from the business side. “

Sommadossi was the founder of Enexon, the European solar company.

The investment is the first by ACP Capital from a planned infrastructure fund to be launched later this year. For the moment the investment will come from the firm’s balance sheet.

ACP plans to launch the fundraising for its infrastructure fund this year. It will invest throughout Europe in infrastructure assets such as railcars, containers, transport and renewable energy.

Alexander Koch, head of ACP Capital’s infrastructure team, said: “It is part of our stated strategy to create a footprint in the infrastructure sector and we have an operating team we are very happy with.”