Equitix acquires 25% stake in Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm
UK infrastructure fund manager Equitix today announces the acquisition of a 25% stake in Sheringham Shoal, a 317 megawatt-capacity offshore wind farm located off the Norfolk coast. It has acquired this with Infrared’s listed entity TRIG who invested c15% with Equitix investing c25%.
The combined stake was acquired from Norwegian utility Statkraft for £558 million. This fits with Equitix’s broader strategy to invest in core infrastructure.
Hugh Crossley, Chief Investment Officer of Equitix, said: “The transaction represents a great opportunity for Equitix to invest in a sector in the UK that fits well with our core infrastructure strategy. We are committed to investing for the long-term in projects like Sheringham Shoal, which continue to offer our investors predictable yields through stable, long-term cash flows.”
Sheringham Shoal has been operational since 2012. Statoil and the wind fund managed by The Green Investment Group are among stakeholders in the project.
The asset is the latest addition to Equitix’s significant capabilities in the renewable energy sector. Equitix has built this expertise through bidding, developing and managing renewables projects.
Today, Equitix manages a diversified portfolio of high quality investments, including 2.1 gigawatts of transmission and generation assets across a range of different technologies including solar, onshore wind and waste processing. Equitix has a strong in-house technical, operational and regulatory expertise in renewables and regulated assets.
Irish social housing PPP Bundle 1
Ireland’s National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) have recently shortlisted Equitix for the first time in Ireland’s €100million Social Housing PPP Bundle 1. The consortium (‘Torc Housing Partnership’) comprises of Equitix, Kajima Partnerships and OHL and JJ Rhatigan & Co. The latter two companies are the construction contractors with facility management being structured by ISS Facility Services and Tuath Housing Association.
Having posted its pre-qualification questionnaire in May, the NDFA had received expressions of interest from five teams. The other shortlisted teams include Macquarie Corporate Holdings PTY and BAM PPP PGGM. If selected as preferred bidder, the first bundle of social housing units will deliver between 525-560 social housing units built across councils in Dublin, Louth, Wicklow and Kildare.
The project is one of 3 Bundles being procured by Ireland’s NDFA. The overall Social Housing PPP envisages a programme to invest €300million in this sector. This will be provided by the development of up to 1,500 housing units in 3 “Bundles” of sites. The contract contains provision of services to the developments over a 25 year period following construction.
The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government are the sanctioning authority for the programme with NDFA acting as financial advisor, procuring authority and project manager. Eversheds (legal), Turner & Townsend (PSDP), and Currie and Brown (surveyor) are advising the procuring authority.
Baddesley new £61m energy recovery plant
• Equitix Energy Efficiency Funds commit £61m to Baddesley energy recovery plant
• The facility is designed to generate enough electricity annually to power 7,500 homes
• The plant is designed to reduce the equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emitted by 5,400 cars
Construction work will soon commence on a new green energy facility in Baddesley Colliery Shale Tip near Baxterley, Warwickshire, with £61m being invested by Equitix through its Energy Efficiency Funds.
The c. 8 MW energy recovery plant, which was developed by Aeternis (Baddesley) Limited, a Joint Venture between Aeternis Energy Limited and Park Top Limited, will generate up to 68 GWh of green electricity per annum – enough to power 7,500 number of homes. The facility is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 12,000 tonnes CO2e every year – the equivalent of removing 5,400 cars from the road.
The Equitix-managed Energy Savings Investment fund (ESI), is investing £23.2m in the project. This fund was established by the UK Green Investment Bank before its recent sale to Macquarie. An additional £37.8m of private capital has been mobilised from the parallel Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF).
Kantor Energy Limited, part of the Dornan Group, has been appointed as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and has been awarded a long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) contract. Around 60 jobs will be created during construction of the plant, with 15 full-time positions created upon completion. Boiler specialists Vyncke will supply the plant’s boiler and flue gas cleaning system.
The fuel will be made up of waste wood, refuse derived fuel (RDF) and commercial and industrial waste with a high biogenic content. It will be supplied by Mick George Limited who have facilities at Mountsorell in Leicestershire, Great Billing in Northampton and Rushton in Northamptonshire.
Power will be exported to the grid and sold to Total under a long-term power off-take agreement.
Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Equitix, said:
“Equitix continues to invest in the heart of local communities and in line with its funds’ investment criteria. We are pleased to be building on our portfolio of energy efficiency and renewables projects, which will deliver sustainable solutions to the community.
We are proud to be part of this partnership to deliver beneficial carbon savings and make a significant contribution to the Warwickshire environment.”
Equitix consortium selected for £85 million Durham University Project
A consortium comprising Equitix, Interserve and Campus Living Villages, has been selected to finance, develop and operate an £85 million project for two new colleges at Durham University.
Equitix will provide investment for the two new residential facilities which will add circa 1,000 student bed spaces to the University, plus associated academic and social college spaces at Mount Oswald - a University-owned area of land to the south of the city. The project also includes a University hub building on the same site, comprising dining amenity, student facilities and administrative space.
The partnership with Durham University will run for 50 years and will be our fifth University PPP student accommodation transaction and fourth partnership to date.
Ben Leech, Project Director for Equitix:
“Equitix is delighted to be working with Interserve and CLV to provide essential residential facilities for Durham University and its student and collegiate community. Equitix has an extensive portfolio of student accommodation PPP projects, demonstrating the strength and capability of our team at working in partnership with institutions in the Higher Education sector to deliver a high quality student experience.
As a long term investor, it is important that we continue to commit to the UK’s future and by supporting the Higher Education system, setting a great foundation for future prospects.”
Jane Robinson, Chief Operating Officer, Durham University, said:
“Our ambitious University Strategy, 2017-2027 aims to ensure we continue to deliver world-class research, education and wider student experience. The development of two new colleges at Mount Oswald is a key project in delivering a wider student experience as good as anywhere in the world. We are very pleased to be working with the consortium to deliver this project.”
Construction will be undertaken by Interserve, and facilities management services will be provided by CLV.
Equitix appointed preferred bidder to deliver a major scheme at the University of Leicester
Equitix has been named as preferred bidder to deliver a major student accommodation PPP redevelopment project for the University of Leicester.
The infrastructure fund manager, with over £2.5 billion under management, will work in partnership with Kier Construction to deliver new and improved student residences, a flexible new academic space and a multi-storey car park at Freemen’s Common which is adjacent to the University’s central campus.
This development forms a key part of the University’s wider estates transformation programme – a ten year vision to invest in teaching and research facilities, student accommodation and the public spaces around the University.
The redevelopment at Freemen’s Common will enhance the facilities and experience on offer to students. Importantly, the scheme will protect the historic Freemen’s Cottages and will look to create new and improved landscaped areas, pedestrian and cycling routes.
Brita Sread, Director of Estates and Campus Services at the University of Leicester, commented:
“We are delighted to bring Equitix and Kier Construction into the team to deliver this exciting project. They impressed us with their strong track record and their innovative initial designs for this site.
“The existing student residences at Freemen’s Common are coming to the end of their life, which presented an ideal opportunity for us to look at this area as a whole and how it could be redeveloped to provide a better range of accommodation. This project is a key part of our wider programme to transform our estate to provide the high-quality facilities needed to support the continued delivery of world-class academic activity and an excellent student experience.”
Ben Leech, Project Director for Equitix, said:
"We are delighted to be partnering with Kier Construction on the regeneration of the University of Leicester’s Freemen’s Common site. Equitix is a committed long-term investor in UK core infrastructure and, by supporting this project, we will be a key stakeholder in the transformation of the campus for many years, helping to enable the next generations of students to learn in a modern and first class environment. As our sixth student accommodation transaction and fifth University PPP partnership, we are delighted to be able to continue to work in support of the Higher Education sector in the UK”
Pre-application consultation on the scheme will commence next month, with a planning submission expected before the end of the year. Subject to planning, construction would start in early summer 2018.
Equitix Fund IV
Equitix Fund IV has been named as one of the infrastructure market’s likely top-performing funds by one of the main sources of data for the alternative assets industry.
The 2017 Preqin Performance Monitor has selected the EF IV as one of five ‘Unlisted Infrastructure Funds to Watch’ with a current multiple of 1.48x. It is one of only two funds on the list with a European focus – the other with a multiple of 1.23x although the same 2015 vintage.
EF IV held its final close in July 2017 with commitments of £758 GBP and it is 75% invested and committed to assets in traditional core infrastructure. These include the M25, Yorkshire Priority Schools PFI, Humber Gateway OFTO and the High Speed 1 rail link. Other sectors that the fund has invested in include social housing, student accommodation and waste & renewables.
The fund is closed-ended and sterling-denominated and exceeded its target size of £500 million in early January 2017. EF IV secured equity commitments from UK and global investors including corporate and local authority pension funds, insurance companies, funds of funds, asset managers and investment consultants.
Equitix completes the final close of its fourth core infrastructure fund
Equitix has completed the fundraising of its fourth core infrastructure fund (Equitix Fund IV), closing today (Friday 21st July 2017) at the £750 million hard cap.
EF IV was launched in 2015 as a closed-ended, sterling-denominated fund and exceeded its target size of £500 million. It has secured equity commitments from UK and global investors including corporate and local authority pension funds, insurance companies, funds of funds, asset managers and investment consultants.
The fund is already 75% committed to assets in traditional core infrastructure sectors. These include the M25, Humber Gateway OFTO and HS 1 rail link – which Equitix last week agreed to acquire as part of a consortium alongside HICL and South Korea’s National Pension Service. Other sectors that the fund has invested in include social housing, student accommodation and waste & renewables.
Hugh Crossley, Chief Investment Officer, said: “Equitix remains committed to providing investors with opportunities to make stable long term returns in core infrastructure assets. The UK continues to be an attractive market and we have identified significant deal flow in the UK and beyond over the next 24 months.”
Equitix is planning to launch its fifth fund in Q4 2017.
Consortium including Equitix Funds named as preferred bidder to acquire HS1 rail link
A consortium advised by Equitix and InfraRed has been named as preferred bidder to acquire High Speed 1 (“HS 1”) from Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Equitix Funds and HICL Infrastructure Company Limited will each acquire an effective 35 per cent interest in HS1, with the balance being taken on by South Korea’s National Pension Service.
The HS1 concession runs to 2040 and has an enterprise value of over £3 billion. HS 1 includes the iconic London St Pancras train station and consists of a 109 km high speed rail line connecting London to a high speed commuter service throughout Kent and to European cities via the Channel Tunnel.
Hugh Crossley, Equitix’s Chief Investment Officer, said “Equitix is delighted to be part of HS 1, an essential part of UK core infrastructure. The Equitix Funds expect to hold the investment for the full duration of the concession, which aligns with Equitix’s investment strategy to manage long term contractual cash flows for our investors.”
40MW Cowdown Solar Project completes
Equitix Fund IV has added to its UK, ground-mounted, solar portfolio with the acquisition of the operating 40MW Cowdown project near Andover.
The project was developed by Golden Square Energy, a joint venture between AGR Group and Ingenious Media as part of a mixed portfolio of UK renewable developments totaling more than 35 assets. The project received planning consent in late December 2015 and was constructed by Solar Century as EPC contractor, and connected before 31st March 2016 in order to achieve 1.3 ROCs.
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