Monday 24 October 2016

Greenroom Investments raising €100m to buy and develop European solar farm portfolio

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 25/10/2015 | 02:30

Solar21 CEO Michael Bradley and CFO Andrew Bradley have big plans for renewable energies
Solar21 CEO Michael Bradley and CFO Andrew Bradley have big plans for renewable energies

A new Irish renewable energy fund is aiming to raise €100m before Christmas and start building up a portfolio of solar farms across Europe.

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Fledgling fund Greenroom Investments received regulatory approval from the Central Bank earlier in the year, making it one of the first investment funds in the country to do so. Greenroom director Michael Bradley is also the chief executive of another Irish solar energy fund, Solar 21.

Solar 21 was established by the Achill Island native in 2010 as an alternative investment vehicle for professionals such as lawyers, doctors and pharmacists. It currently has about €150m worth of assets under management, with several solar farms in Italy.

Mr Bradley says that, due to its regulation by the Central Bank, Greenroom is geared more towards institutional investors as it gives them more security on their investment. It aims to provide a return of 8.5pc over an eight-year period. Although it is more focused on institutions, retail investors can cough up a minimum of €100,000 to get involved.

"We have been managing Solar 21 for five years and that has been doing well - but we wanted to attract even bigger investors," said Mr Bradley. "We wanted to put the regulation in there for investors, so there is more security and transparency."

He said that the fund is looking to raise up to €300m in total through three funding rounds, with the first tranche due to close in March, although he believes the company can close it sooner than that.

"The company's first offering has been very well received by institutional and experienced investors alike and it is expected that the first tranche of fundraising will be finalised before Christmas," he said.

"We would plan to raise about €300m over the next two to three quarters and then we would look at buying assets."

The fund is looking to invest the estimated €100m equity within 12 months of the raise. He added that the firm would be looking for assets in major European economies such as Italy.

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