Home of the
listed clean energy fund
This was followed in April by the John Laing
Environmental Assets Group Limited raising proceeds of
£160 million for its own placing and Initial Public Offering
(IPO) on the LSE. It is also a Guernsey domiciled closedended
fund which will acquire a seed portfolio of interests
in UK based solar, onshore wind, waste processing and
wastewater projects on or around admission.
These two launches also come in the wake of a number
of successful launches during 2013 of other Guernsey
domiciled investment funds: Resonance British Wind
Energy Income Fund first closed in April 2013 with £35
million for consolidating the small and medium sized
operating wind farm industry in the UK; in July 2013
Bluefield Solar Income Fund had an initial capital raising of
£130 million on the premium segment of the LSE as the first
solar energy infrastructure fund focused on the acquisition
and management of a diversified portfolio of large scale
solar energy in the UK; and later that same month, The
Renewables Infrastructure Group – investing in a portfolio
of fully operational wind and solar energy generation
assets – raised £300 million on the LSE, with City sources
reporting that this was the largest IPO of a clean energy firm
in London to date.
These examples are part of the growing body of evidence
which suggests Guernsey is seen as the home of the clean
energy fund and especially for those seeking to IPO.
Fiona Le Poidevin
March 2014 saw the launch of NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited as a Guernsey domiciled
closed-ended collective investment fund focusing on operational solar photovoltaic
assets located in the UK. The investment fund successfully raised £86 million for its listing
on the premium segment of the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Investment fund credentials
Guernsey’s long and strong heritage as an investment
fund centre has helped build an industry with significant
infrastructure and expertise. Today, there are more than 50
fund managers, administrators and custodians servicing
more than 1,000 investment funds valued at approximately
half a trillion US dollars. Guernsey domiciled investment
funds are distributed into all corners of the globe.
The Island is well positioned for the domiciling and
servicing of the widest range of funds but it has grown
a reputation for excellence in alternative investments,
especially private equity, property and infrastructure
and, more recently, clean energy. This experience means
that Guernsey is ideally placed to act as a centre for funds
investing in existing clean energy projects or seeking to raise
finance for new clean energy ventures.
Leading global investment houses, including those within
the clean energy space, have their funds domiciled and
serviced in Guernsey and a number have also established
staffed offices in the Island.
Guernsey has a pool of well-qualified non-executive
directors, many of whom have broad industry experience
as well as specific clean energy experience. Many of the
major investors, including those who specialise in clean
energy, are therefore comfortable with Guernsey as a fund
Guernsey’s regulator has significant experience of
understanding investment fund structures and last year
approved 103 new funds across a range of different asset
classes including a number of clean energy vehicles. Much
of this success can be attributed to the fact that as the
Island is outside the EU, it is able to provide a flexible and
proportionate regulatory regime.
Guernsey is tax neutral for investment funds which means
that tax is only paid by investors in their home country and
according to their own circumstances.
The desired fund structure for any clean energy project will
often be dictated by the requirements of the investors but
consideration should also be given to whether the structure
will remain optimal as the project proceeds and indeed, the
most appropriate exit strategy should be established at the
outset of the venture.
The ability to float companies on international exchanges
may prove beneficial to a clean energy fund since a stock
market launch may provide early investors with an exit
route from the project as well as provide access to further
Guernsey companies can list on the LSE, Euronext, Hong
Kong, Toronto, Australia as well as the local Channel Islands
Securities Exchange (CISE), amongst many others. A number
of Guernsey clean energy vehicles have been utilised to
access various stock exchanges and most notably the LSE
where data shows that there are more Guernsey entities
listed on its markets than there are vehicles from any
other jurisdiction globally (ex UK). There are currently 125
Guernsey investment funds and trading companies listed on
the LSE with a combined market capitalisation of £34 billion.
Guernsey has a broad finance industry which can provide
a wide range of financial services to clean energy projects,
including banking services, specialist insurance and
bespoke intellectual property protection. However, the
Island has found its niche as a centre for clean energy
investment funds and especially those seeking to raise
capital through a listing on an international stock exchange.
Guernsey is the home of the listed clean energy fund.
Fiona Le Poidevin is the Chief Executive of
Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for
the Island’s finance industry.
Address: PO Box 655
North Plantation, St Peter Port
Guernsey, GY1 3PN
Phone: +44 (0) 1481 720071