UK renewable fund in €275m third close

Impax Asset Management Group, the London-listed fund manager, has announced a third close of its New Energy Investors II renewable energy fund on €275m.

Impax Asset Management Group (Impax), the London-listed environmental investment specialist, has announced the third close of its New Energy Investors II (NEF II) renewable energy fund on €275 million.

The fund posted a second close on €259 million in November last year and has since added €16 million from a German fund of funds manager and a UK pension fund, neither of which have been named.     

Impax is aiming to achieve a final closing of the fund on between €300 million and €400 million sometime this year.

Speaking of changing investor sentiment, Impax managing director Peter Rossbach said: “Investor interest was at the bottom in 2009, moved up in the first half of 2010, and was then coping with volatility in the second half of 2010. We hope there will be new budgets and new commitments in 2011 and a settling of investors’ comfort levels.”

NEF II invests mainly in the wind and solar sectors in the European Union. It is the successor to NEF I, which closed on €125 million in 2006.

Rossbach said that, going forward, the fund was likely to prioritise the wind sector, given the furore surrounding the Spanish government’s proposal to revise its tariff regime, which could have a devastating effect on equity and debt investments. Spain is easily Europe’s largest solar market.

NEF II recently completed the acquisition of the German and French wind development and operating assets of Conergy, the Hamburg-based solar company. The deal gave the fund 23 megawatts of existing wind farms and a further 285 megawatts in development in France and 93 megawatts in development in Germany.