Wind-energy investment funds tipped to raise €5m

4 Nov 2008

A specially themed Business Expansion Scheme (BES) aimed at wind-energy technology is to raise €5m from investors, while the equity firm behind it plans to invest a further €7.5m in promising tech start-ups, it emerged today.

ITC Group has launched a new BES wind farm-themed fund, which is seeking to raise €5m from investors.

Wind energy is a high growth area, both globally and domestically, which ITC has identified, and its new fund, the ITC Stable Portfolio approach, is aimed at that market.

Last year, the company raised €6m for wind energy-related products, and a further €10.5m for other projects.

“Through fund-raising in this area, we developed an increased level of knowledge in terms of targeting what are the key risks,” explained Iain Cahill, business development at ITC.

“This knowledge now allows us to review a wider number of proposals. Our investment process is rigorous, and our general aim is to try to de-risk the investment as much as possible. But we fundamentally believe that the wind-energy market is favourable,” Cahill added.

The Stable Dynamic Portfolio follows the announcement of ITC’s Powerscourt Dynamic Portfolio fund, a joint venture between ITC and Powerscourt Investments which is seeking to raise €7.5m for investment in high-potential growth companies in key strategic industries such as telecoms services and technologies, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

ITC’s two funds are available to those with a minimum of €50,000 to invest, in one, or both, before the first week of January.

Last year, the Government changed the rules on the BES by increasing the upper limits on investments from €31,750 to €150,000. At the same time, it doubled the amount that a company could raise from €1m to €2m.

Once the BES monies are fully invested before the end of 2009, investors will be able to backdate tax relief to 2008.

“Many of the projects we are considering have already got planning permission, and have agreed contracts to sell their output. So we believe that banks, which will provide the debt, will find businesses in this area to be attractive as they can create strong, dynamic income streams,” Cahill added.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years