AXA teams with Tozzi for Italian renewables

Paris-headquartered AXA Private Equity has formed a partnership with Italian industrial firm Tozzi Group to invest in Italian wind farms, hydroelectric and solar projects. AXA hopes to capitalise on the renewable energy sector which infrastructure head Mathias Burghardt says has a 'bright future'.

AXA Private Equity is pushing farther into Italian renewable energy investments, having established a joint venture with a Ravennes-based industrial company called Tozzi Group.

The firms have set up a holding company called TRE& Partners, of which AXA holds a 45 percent stake and Tozzi holds the majority 55 percent stake, which will invest in wind farms, hydroelectric plants and solar projects.

The two firms have a history of working together; Tozzi invited AXA to acquire 30 percent of four of its Italian wind farm projects two years ago. Their most recent collaboration in the region came earlier this month when AXA purchased a 30 percent stake in the Tozzi-owned and Puglia-based Serracapriola wind farm in an undisclosed transaction.

“The renewable energy sector has a bright future, with strong likelihood if consistent and solid growth over the long term,” Mathias Burghardt, head of infrastructure group at AXA, said in a statement.

AXA currently manages $2 billion of infrastructure investments worldwide, and has invested more than €500 million into six transactions in the transport, energy, waters distribution and waste treatment sectors in France, the UK and Italy since 2005, the firm said.

Tozzi, which has been operating for 50 years, produces switchboards, electrical instruments, power plants and other electrical containers and distribution devices. It has only recently diversified into the development of renewable energy projects, according to the firm.