Private equity: safer ground?

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Adam Barber
October 14, 2012
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This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Private equity: safer ground?

In a week that saw the UK Government being told to get its renewable house in order by some industry heavyweights, on the grounds that investor confidence was seriously rattled, an announcement from UK Private equity firm, Terra Firma, quietly slipped under the radar.

The business is to partner with the China Development Bank to launch a $5billion fund for renewable energy investments.

Older readers may remember Terra Firma, and its founder Guy Hands, as having disastrously overpaid for record label, EMI, before facing prolonged legal wrangling to offload the business to Citigroup.
So, is the announcement good news, or a drop in the ocean?

Well Terra Firma actually already plays in renewable energy under the auspices of Infinis, a renewable developer which operates 10 onshore wind farms. That’s separate from its ownership of US wind develop EverPower and Italian solar business Rete Rinnovabile.

It’s not exactly indicative of a flood of new investment for the sector, and Terra Firma, hasn’t shied away from investments that the wider industry may baulk at. Nevertheless, the news might just encourage the alternative investment community to reconsider renewables.

And if that happens, it’s exactly the kind of move that may add some much needed additional momentum to the investment process. After all, there’s only so long you can continue knocking on the same doors.

Some may worry that encouraging the private equity community into the renewable energy space invites a reputational issue.

And in days of old, prior to the financial crisis, there may have been some truth in the assertion. Particularly given the amounts of leverage the private equity funds have used to acquire their targets.
But times have changed, and the industry now approaches its investments much more carefully.

Perhaps then, Terra Firma’s Guy Hands can encourage his colleagues in the fund community to take some bolder steps.

In a week that saw the UK Government being told to get its renewable house in order by some industry heavyweights, on the grounds that investor confidence was seriously rattled, an announcement from UK Private equity firm, Terra Firma, quietly slipped under the radar.

The business is to partner with the China Development Bank to launch a $5billion fund for renewable energy investments.

Older readers may remember Terra Firma, and its founder Guy Hands, as having disastrously overpaid for record label, EMI, before facing prolonged legal wrangling to offload the business to Citigroup.
So, is the announcement good news, or a drop in the ocean?

Well Terra Firma actually already plays in renewable energy under the auspices of Infinis, a renewable developer which operates 10 onshore wind farms. That’s separate from its ownership of US wind develop EverPower and Italian solar business Rete Rinnovabile.

It’s not exactly indicative of a flood of new investment for the sector, and Terra Firma, hasn’t shied away from investments that the wider industry may baulk at. Nevertheless, the news might just encourage the alternative investment community to reconsider renewables.

And if that happens, it’s exactly the kind of move that may add some much needed additional momentum to the investment process. After all, there’s only so long you can continue knocking on the same doors.

Some may worry that encouraging the private equity community into the renewable energy space invites a reputational issue.

And in days of old, prior to the financial crisis, there may have been some truth in the assertion. Particularly given the amounts of leverage the private equity funds have used to acquire their targets.
But times have changed, and the industry now approaches its investments much more carefully.

Perhaps then, Terra Firma’s Guy Hands can encourage his colleagues in the fund community to take some bolder steps.

In a week that saw the UK Government being told to get its renewable house in order by some industry heavyweights, on the grounds that investor confidence was seriously rattled, an announcement from UK Private equity firm, Terra Firma, quietly slipped under the radar.

The business is to partner with the China Development Bank to launch a $5billion fund for renewable energy investments.

Older readers may remember Terra Firma, and its founder Guy Hands, as having disastrously overpaid for record label, EMI, before facing prolonged legal wrangling to offload the business to Citigroup.
So, is the announcement good news, or a drop in the ocean?

Well Terra Firma actually already plays in renewable energy under the auspices of Infinis, a renewable developer which operates 10 onshore wind farms. That’s separate from its ownership of US wind develop EverPower and Italian solar business Rete Rinnovabile.

It’s not exactly indicative of a flood of new investment for the sector, and Terra Firma, hasn’t shied away from investments that the wider industry may baulk at. Nevertheless, the news might just encourage the alternative investment community to reconsider renewables.

And if that happens, it’s exactly the kind of move that may add some much needed additional momentum to the investment process. After all, there’s only so long you can continue knocking on the same doors.

Some may worry that encouraging the private equity community into the renewable energy space invites a reputational issue.

And in days of old, prior to the financial crisis, there may have been some truth in the assertion. Particularly given the amounts of leverage the private equity funds have used to acquire their targets.
But times have changed, and the industry now approaches its investments much more carefully.

Perhaps then, Terra Firma’s Guy Hands can encourage his colleagues in the fund community to take some bolder steps.

In a week that saw the UK Government being told to get its renewable house in order by some industry heavyweights, on the grounds that investor confidence was seriously rattled, an announcement from UK Private equity firm, Terra Firma, quietly slipped under the radar.

The business is to partner with the China Development Bank to launch a $5billion fund for renewable energy investments.

Older readers may remember Terra Firma, and its founder Guy Hands, as having disastrously overpaid for record label, EMI, before facing prolonged legal wrangling to offload the business to Citigroup.
So, is the announcement good news, or a drop in the ocean?

Well Terra Firma actually already plays in renewable energy under the auspices of Infinis, a renewable developer which operates 10 onshore wind farms. That’s separate from its ownership of US wind develop EverPower and Italian solar business Rete Rinnovabile.

It’s not exactly indicative of a flood of new investment for the sector, and Terra Firma, hasn’t shied away from investments that the wider industry may baulk at. Nevertheless, the news might just encourage the alternative investment community to reconsider renewables.

And if that happens, it’s exactly the kind of move that may add some much needed additional momentum to the investment process. After all, there’s only so long you can continue knocking on the same doors.

Some may worry that encouraging the private equity community into the renewable energy space invites a reputational issue.

And in days of old, prior to the financial crisis, there may have been some truth in the assertion. Particularly given the amounts of leverage the private equity funds have used to acquire their targets.
But times have changed, and the industry now approaches its investments much more carefully.

Perhaps then, Terra Firma’s Guy Hands can encourage his colleagues in the fund community to take some bolder steps.

In a week that saw the UK Government being told to get its renewable house in order by some industry heavyweights, on the grounds that investor confidence was seriously rattled, an announcement from UK Private equity firm, Terra Firma, quietly slipped under the radar.

The business is to partner with the China Development Bank to launch a $5billion fund for renewable energy investments.

Older readers may remember Terra Firma, and its founder Guy Hands, as having disastrously overpaid for record label, EMI, before facing prolonged legal wrangling to offload the business to Citigroup.
So, is the announcement good news, or a drop in the ocean?

Well Terra Firma actually already plays in renewable energy under the auspices of Infinis, a renewable developer which operates 10 onshore wind farms. That’s separate from its ownership of US wind develop EverPower and Italian solar business Rete Rinnovabile.

It’s not exactly indicative of a flood of new investment for the sector, and Terra Firma, hasn’t shied away from investments that the wider industry may baulk at. Nevertheless, the news might just encourage the alternative investment community to reconsider renewables.

And if that happens, it’s exactly the kind of move that may add some much needed additional momentum to the investment process. After all, there’s only so long you can continue knocking on the same doors.

Some may worry that encouraging the private equity community into the renewable energy space invites a reputational issue.

And in days of old, prior to the financial crisis, there may have been some truth in the assertion. Particularly given the amounts of leverage the private equity funds have used to acquire their targets.
But times have changed, and the industry now approaches its investments much more carefully.

Perhaps then, Terra Firma’s Guy Hands can encourage his colleagues in the fund community to take some bolder steps.

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Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.