Alinda biogas deal marks third exit for Frog

The US infrastructure firm plans to invest €300m over the next three years in agri.capital, a German biogas company whose previous backers included Frog Capital.

Alinda Capital Partners, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based fund manager with over $7 billion in assets under management, has acquired a majority stake in German biogas company agri.capital, and plans to invest over €300 million to grow the company’s operations over the next three years.

Exiting the company as part of the deal was Frog Capital, which invested in agri.capital as part of a €60 million funding round in 2009. London-based Frog said it was the firm's third profitable exit in the past year, having sold stakes in companies in deals worth a total transaction value of € 1 billion.

agri.capital Group is headquartered in Luxembourg and has operations throughout Germany, according to a statement. It has over 60 project sites with capacity of 400 gigawatt hours per year.

Alinda said the company had strong growth prospects in Germany and Italy as well as longer-term prospects throughout Europe.

“Biogas and biomethane are becoming increasingly important components of renewable energy in Europe, as evidenced by strong regulatory support in Germany and Italy, and emerging feed-in tariff structures in countries such as France and the UK,” Alinda managing partner Chris Beale said in a statement.

TCW Group led a €60 million round of funding for the company in 2009, according to London-based investment firm Frog Capital, which acquired last year a €3 million stake from an investor who had participated in that round of funding. Frog is now selling its stake to Alinda. Frog said in a statement that each of agri.capital’s plants generates about €1 million to €2 million per year.

“If you look at the cleantech space generally in Europe there are a few very clear leaders in different areas. agri.capital is definitely one of them,” said Frog partner Iyad Omari.

Alinda closed its second fund on more than $4 billion in January 2010, receiving commitments from investors including CalPERS, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, and the Washington State Investment Board. 

Alinda said in a statement that agri.capital’s “existing common equity investors and certain other early stage investors  will continue to participate in the ownership of the business”.