European private equity firm Ambienta SGR beat its second fund target, raising €323.5 million ($404 million), ahead of schedule. The PE firm secured funding from the European Investment Fund, Generali, HarbourVest Partners, Hermes, Pantheon, RobecoSAM, Stafford Capital Partners, Unigestion and Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., Italian partnerships CNPADC, Fondazione Enasarco, Intesa Sanpaolo, Fondo Italiano d’Investimento and Poste Vita. Ambienta’s total assets under management breached the €500 million mark. In contrast, clean tech venture capital fundraising has seen a relatively weak year.
Given institutional and limited partnership interest in the green asset class, Ambienta plans to invest the money in energy efficiency and pollution control sectors. The PE firm is focusing on perceived European companies’ competencies regarding pollution reduction and energy efficiency, which are derived, it says, from the region’s “historical” lack of natural resources and high population density. Given the EU’s climate reduction goals for 2020 and 2030, there is a huge push for companies to be greener. Last month, EU leaders agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030. This is to be achieved mainly through an emissions trading system and renewable energy and energy efficiency targets. The European Council approved the greenhouse gas emissions reductions as well as an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27 percent and an energy efficiency target of at least 27 percent.