Global Innovation Partners invests in alternative energy

The CalPERS-backed venture capital and real estate investment firm has led a E40m commitment to Energos, the Norwegian alternative energy producer.

Global Innovation Partners (GIP), the $526m investment firm backed by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and Richard Ellis, the real estate services provider, has invested E18m in Energos, a Norwegian alternative energy producer.

Energos specialises in decentralised incineration of waste and aims to recover energy whilst producing low emissions in the process. The company claims to be operating the most environmentally friendly power stations in Europe.

GIP was the lead investor in the E40m deal, with Norwegian venture investors Venturos and Norsk Hydro Technology Ventures also participating.

For GIP, headquartered in Los Angeles, Energos is the first investment in Europe since it opened an office in London last September. The London team comprises Phil Kaziewicz, a former Nomura Principal Finance executive, and Al Foglio, a former member of CSFB's Principal Transactions Group. The group also has a presence in Paris through its affiliation with the French arm of Richard Ellis.

GIP, set up last year, is a hybrid fund looking both to invest in strategic corporate-owned real estate and provide growth financing for asset-intensive and later-stage technology-related businesses. It also looks to finance management buyouts.

According to Kaziewicz, GIP invested in Energos partly because it fitted its investment mandate well. “Energos owns part of its real estate including strategically important plants, has stable contractual cash flows both on the waste-handling side as well as the energy output side, and it operates in a growth sector”, he commented.  

GIP is the product of CalPERS’ 2000 decision to invest $500m in real estate assets with a technology slant. The $160bn pension group ran a tender process which was won by Rick Magnuson, GIP’s managing partner. Richard Ellis joined the project with a $26m commitment.