Ingenious to Funnel Half of IPO Proceeds Into U.K. Solar Assets

Feb 24, 2014 8:28 am ET

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Ingenious Media Holdings Plc, an investor in films such as “Life of Pi” and “Avatar,” plans to channel more than half of its planned 160 million-pound ($266 million) fundraising into U.K. solar assets.

The financial adviser will put about 99 million pounds into six ground-mounted solar energy projects totaling 80 megawatts, according to Roberto Castiglioni, the U.K. firm’s investment director for clean energy. That should power about 85,000 homes, he said, and four of the six plants are set to be operating next month.

“Capitalizing on the experience of their European counterparts, U.K. income investors have become increasingly attracted to investing in operational solar photovoltaic parks,” Castiglioni said in an e-mailed response to questions. “The sector has matured and offers long-term stable cashflows with a link to inflation.”

Ingenious Media is planning to raise 160 million pounds to 200 million pounds through an initial public offering of a closed-end investment company on the London Stock Exchange to invest in U.K. solar, onshore wind and energy efficiency projects. It’s seeking to close fundraising on March 18.

Ingenious plans to invest 47 million pounds in land-based wind-power assets and 25 million pounds in projects that curb energy waste and boost efficiency in public-sector buildings. Efficiency measures include installing low-energy light bulbs. It’s targeting a dividend of 6 pence for shares selling at 1 pound.

Efficiency Focus

The inclusion of energy efficiency differentiates Ingenious from other clean energy vehicles that have listed in London over the past year, as investors hunt for ways to make returns that beat government bonds. Greencoat U.K. Wind Plc raised 260 million pounds in a March IPO. Bluefield Solar Income Fund Ltd. became Britain’s first listed solar fund in July, raising 130 million pounds.

“We’ve got a number of drivers for needing energy efficiency,” James Axtell, an investment director at Ingenious, said in an interview. “We’ve got reduced generating capacity. There are concerns over energy security. And one of the main drivers for the property business is rising energy prices.”

--Editors: Todd White, Amanda Jordan