Insurer Aviva and Equiter, a joint venture involving Italian banking foundations, have joined in the fourth and final round of capital raising for a solar energy fund.
Compagnia di San Paolo and Fondazione CRT, two banking foundations, and Intesa Sanpaolo, an Italian bank, formed Equitor to engage in mission-related infrastructrure investments.
Together with Aviva, they are among final investors to join Tages Helios, a fund managed by Milan-based Tages Capital.
Existing investors include Italian insurers Generali, Intesa Vita, Unipol, the Monte dei Paschi di Siena pension fund, Fondazione Cariplo and Banca Consulia.
The latest fundraise brought in €43m, giving the fund a total of €253m.
Tages Helios, launched in December 2015 with an initial €133m, is a closed-ended alternative investment fund investing in the Italian photovoltaic (PV) sector.
Its target internal rate of return is at least 8%.
The fund acquires PV plants with up to five years of operation history, and aims to rationalise management activities and increase plant efficiency. Plants will be owned by the fund until the expiry of state incentives, which last for 20 years.
Tages believes that after experiencing rapid growth followed by several changes in regulation, the Italian PV sector is ready ripe for consolidation, a situation favouring operators with strong industrial expertise and the ability to increase efficiency.
Tages Helios is now Italy’s third-largest solar PV operator, with a portfolio of 60 plants and total installed capacity of 157MW. About 60% of the total funds subscribed have already been invested.
Carla Ferrari, chair of Equiter, said: “Our subscription is an effective example of mission-related investment – an investment in renewable energy that combines economic performance and positive environmental impact.”
Tages said that around 75% of the money invested comes from insurance companies, with 10% from pension funds. The remaining funds have been provided by banking foundations (7%), banks (3%), qualified private investors (3%), and the company’s management (2%).
Umberto Quadrino, chair of the Tages Group, said that market interest and the number of PV assets currently on sale meant Tages was looking at launching a similar fund in the near future.