Old Mutual launches 150 million euro energy fund

Old Mutual PLC, the UK financial services group, Wednesday announced plans to raise 150 million euros from institutions and "high net worth individuals" through a Luxembourg-based seed corn fund that will focus on investing in new breed European gas and electricity businesses. The fund, Gerrard Energy Ventures SA, will be investing primarily in early stage financing of companies.


LONDON, Feb. 14�Old Mutual PLC, the UK financial services group, Wednesday announced out plans to raise 150 million euros from institutions and "high net worth individuals" through a Luxembourg-based seed corn fund that will focus on investing in new breed European gas and electricity businesses.

The fund, Gerrard Energy Ventures SA, aims to capitalize on the liberalization of the European power and gas sector. It will invest "primarily in early stage financing" of companies. Old Mutual has committed 15 million euros to the fund.

Europe's power and gas sector is undergoing "a revolution brought about by market liberalization, new technology, and environmental pressures," said GEV joint Managing Director Jim Whelan, noting that the sector already accounts for some 300 billion euros/year, equivalent to 6% of European GDP.

"For most of Europe the existing players have little experience in liberalized markets, although in areas such as the UK and Scandinavia liberalization has been underway for a number of years," he said. "There is a huge potential for investment in the sector in general, and in growth opportunities in particular."

GEV said it aims to build a portfolio of investments ranging from 1-15 million euros in at least 10 new breed power and gas companies across "all parts of the energy value chain."

Among GEV's board members are the former director general of UK regulatory body Ofgas, Claire Spottiswoode, and Eric Anstee, former vice-president of Dutch utility Nuon.

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