French buyout firm plans to breeze into UK market
THE French private equity firm behind the country’s largest stock market listing of the year is planning to plough more than half a billion euros into Britain’s wind-power industry.
Fresh from the listing of the €1.4bn (£1.2bn) renewable energy giant Neoen last year, Omnes Capital is plotting a major push into British wind next year. Serge Savasta, managing partner of Omnes, told The Sunday Telegraph that Brexit has had no bearing on the fund’s first planned move into the UK.
“It does not put us off. On the contrary, this is a market with a point of view that is different to many countries and it is the leader in wind power,” he said.
The fund, formerly a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole, is interested in floating offshore wind-power technology and corporate renewable energy deals.
Greencoat Capital, a private equity firm specialising in renewable energy, said the vote of confidence in Britain’s industry follows a flurry of investments worth £1.3bn from major banks and high street retailers in its solar power fund. Last week HSBC vowed to invest £250m in solar and wind power. The BBC’S annual report reveals renewable-energy investments of £230m, and further investments from M&S and Jaguar Land Rover of £75m and £73m respectively, have been made through the Greencoat fund.
“For some, the investments might help their image. But from an economic perspective it is the best thing to do. Renewable energy offers incredibly cheap rates, even compared to our expectations five years ago,” Mr Savasta said.