Platina Finance has closed a €56 million ($74 million) fund, Mistral Wind Farms I (MWF I), which will focus on the construction and management of wind farms in the UK and France.
It has also announced the €30 million closure of Mistral Energy II (ME II), which will make early-stage investments in continental European wind energy, wave energy, biofuel and geothermal projects. The fund is twice the size of its €15 million predecessor, ME I.
According to Platina managing director Thomas Rottner, the fundraisings took place with renewable energy in the spotlight as never before. He said: “The debates that have been raging within government in the UK have made people realise there is a massive hole to plug in order to meet energy demand. There is still a huge power infrastructure that needs to be built. The question is how do you get enough energy – whether renewable or otherwise.”
Amid strong investor demand, Rottner claims MWF I could have raised double the amount that it did. He said the reason for restricting the size of the fund related to the problem of obtaining planning permission for new wind energy projects within a reasonable timescale and the consequent difficulty of putting money to work.
Rottner added that 18 percent of the capital raised by MWF I has already been allocated to a French project that involves the opening of three wind farms in the Eure-et-Loir region. He said investors were aware of the project during the fundraising. “We were able to tell people that what we were offering was tangible, we were not just selling dreams. We didn’t want to have to turn round and tell people ‘guess what? The money’s proving harder to invest than we thought’.”
Limited partners in MWF I included Santander Infreastructuras, the Madrid-based infrastructure fund managed by Santander Private Equity, with whom Platina has a strategic partnership. Consensus Group, owned by property magnate Vincent Tchenguiz, also invested in the fund.
In separate news, 3i today announced it has invested €30 million in Electrawinds, a Belgian renewable energy company that develops wind and biomass projects across Europe.