French buy­out firm plans to breeze into UK mar­ket

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Business - By Jillian Am­brose

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.

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