Italy’s Ambienta SGR has closed its EUR 217.5 million ($317 million) Ambienta I fund. According to the London-based research firm Prequin, the fund is Europe’s largest private fund specializing in environmental investments.
The subscribers are 70% institutional investors and 30% entrepreneurs, companies and family offices. The 20 financial institutions, led by Intesa Sanpaolo – which invested EUR 40 million ($59 million) – are mostly Italian and include seven insurance companies and five pension funds. Among the international investors are the Macquarie Cleantech I environmental fund of funds and Doughty Hanson.
“We are very pleased with the closing of the fund, because our investors not only invested in a relatively new asset class but did so in perhaps the most difficult year in modern economic history and the most troubled since the start of the private equity industry. We shall strive with passion, commitment and discipline to be worthy of their confidence,” said Ambienta SGR partner and CEO Nino Tronchetti Provera.
The board also approved the appointments of Peter Weidmann (Macquarie) and Michael Obermayer (Fjord Capital) to the firm's advisory board, the body that supports the management team in the development of international investments.
Ambienta says it will use its raised capital to assist the growth of companies or projects, especially in Europe and Italy, based on established technologies whose market development will result in a meaningful reduction in polluting emissions.
"Ambienta I," said Tronchetti Provera, "will invest in the environmental business as a whole, from renewables to pollution control, from energy efficiency to recycling, from waste and water management to biofuels."
The fund has scouted 300 potential investments to date. In 2008, Ambienta I purchased a majority stake in Italiana Pellets, a producers of solid fuel from biomass, and a minority stake in ICQ Holding, an Italian company specializing in the development, construction and management of plants for the production of energy from renewable resources.
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