Bord Gais ex-CEO targets solar

John Mullins, former chief executive of Bord Gais, Ireland’s largest owner of wind capacity, is launching Amarenco, a solar-focused renewables asset management business targeting institutional investors.

Mullins, who left Bord Gais last year, is looking to raise between €50m ($67m) and €150m, as Amarenco kicks off a roadshow for prospective investors set to run through the next few weeks.

Amarenco will initially focus its investments on solar assets in southern England and France, targeting annualised yields for its investors of 6%, in addition to a share of the residual value of the investments at the end of a 10-year period.

The German development bank KfW will reportedly finance the French investments through project-finance loans. Yields will be lower in the UK, where project-finance for solar is harder to come by.

The launch of Amarenco yet again underscores the increasing attractiveness of renewable-energy assets to pension funds and other institutional investors, which are struggling to find sufficient yields in traditional investments like bonds.