June 2013, Amarenco Launch, Dublin, Ireland

Stephen Nolan & John Mullins

Dublin 11th June 2013:

Green International Financial Services Centre (GIFSC) has welcomed the launch of new renewable energy asset management business Amarenco was announced in Dublin today with the creation of up to 20 jobs.

Amarenco, will be focusing on Solar Photovoltaic (PV) investments in Europe.   The company is in the later stages of finalising arrangements for a solar fund, which is awaiting regulatory approval. The €150 million fund will focus initially on assets in the South of England and France.

The founder and CEO of Amarenco is John Mullins, who stepped down at the end of 2012 as CEO of Bord Gáis. Speaking at the launch, he said:  “We are very pleased to launch our company and to announce details of the first investment fund, the Global Solar Income Fund. We are committed to creating employment of up to 20 positions over the next three years as we add to the company’s portfolio of investments. As experienced international energy executives we will bring solid investment opportunities to the market, which should provide secure and stable income from solar power in the UK and France for many years to come.”

“We have contractual arrangements to secure assets for the full fund amount with experienced developers and owners’ positions in over 200MW of solar power projects in the UK and France. Investments will be in fully permitted and low technology risk solar photovoltaic power projects” he said.  “The opportunity presented to investors is both attractive and realistic with a target 6% annual yield over a ten-year time frame.”

“We are particularly pleased to register as an Irish company and headquarter the fund in Ireland mainly as a result of the talent on hand in Ireland from the cleantech and renewable sectors and because Green International Financial Services Centre (GIFSC) is ensuring a pipeline of talent for tomorrow through its investment with Summit Finuas of some €600,000 in new Masters and PostGraduate Certificates in Environmental Finance at illustrious universities such as Dublin City University.

“As well as providing both domestic and international support to businesses such as Amarenco, GIFSC has the potential to place Ireland at the centre of renewable energy investment globally. It is a very timely initiative and one that is already reaping results – seen by the launch of Amarenco.” Stephen Nolan, Executive Co-ordinator of the GIFSC explained: “On the one hand, Ireland is home to a world class funds centre with $3 trillion in assets under administration and 25 years experience. And, on the other Irish enterprise companies are developing and actively engaged in rolling out more than 20 GW of renewable energy around the world.

“These two sectors combined are what sets Ireland apart. Ireland offers an unparalleled talent pool of people, professional services and service providers to manage environmental funds. In essence a new breed of asset manager is being born and Ireland is the incubator as evidenced by the launch of Amarenco today.”

Also, welcoming the announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said:

“The green economy is a key sector targeted in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, and we are putting in place a series of measures across Government to target the jobs opportunities offered by the growth of this sector. Today’s announcement by Amarenco, led by John Mullins, that it is launching a €150million fund and creating up to 20 jobs in Ireland is very welcome and an indication of what is possible in this sector. I am determined to ensure that we in Government put in place changes to ensure that Ireland is well placed to take advantage of all the opportunities offered by this sector to create the jobs and growth we need”.

At the launch it was highlighted that in terms of the investment strategy for Amarenco, funds will be used to directly purchase large scale solar projects installed or at financial close, in return for equity. The criteria for projects to invest, said Amarenco, include:

·         Located initially in the UK and France or other qualifying geographies;

·         High quality developers and contractors with proven track record;

·         Established PV technology;

·         Fully permitted with land access rights, grid access and connection;

·         Solid creditworthy power purchase agreements;

·         Qualifying for renewable benefits; and

·         Majority shareholding

Davy, Ireland’s leading independent wealth-management and stock-broking firm, has been appointed Investment Manager for Amarenco.  Amarenco is also working with DHKN, an Irish private wealth services firm, and Investec Bank plc (A FTSE specialist bank and part of the Investec Group), who together are providing financial and origination support.

Amarenco has assembled a highly experienced team in the sector that includes Kevin Lynch, Chief Investment Officer;  Alain Desvigne, Chief Operations Officer; Nick Howard, Company Treasurer; and Kevin McNamara, Chief Financial Officer. The company’s head office will be located in the IFSC, Dublin 1 and its Londonoffice in Covent Garden.  The company currently employs six and this is expected to increase to twenty in time.

Another Irish owned company, Quintas Energy, will provide physical asset management solutions to each invested solar park portfolio.

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