The day after the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group and the European Commission signed in Brussels an agreement to implement the Investment Plan for Europe (the Juncker Plan), the EIB signed its first equity participation under the plan, a €50 million commitment to an investment fund managed by Omnes Capital and entirely dedicated to developing renewable energies: Capenergie 3.
The signing ceremony was chaired by the Minister of Finance and Public Accounts, Michel Sapin, and the Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, Emmanuel Macron, in the presence of the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, and the three signatories to the finance contract: EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, Omnes Capital's CEO Fabien Prevost, and a Managing Director of Omnes Capital, Serge Savasta.
"The EIB is mobilising more than ever to ensure the successful implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe in France. Our first equity participation in this fund has a twofold objective: to ensure the success of Capenergie 3's first fund-raising while attracting other European and global investors. The growing competitiveness of renewable energies creates new investment opportunities that must be seized. Rapid and targeted action is the key to achieving the lasting return of growth through investment" EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle commented.
Michel Sapin, Minister of Finance and Public Accounts, commented: "This project shows that we are now moving into the concrete implementation phase of the Juncker Plan. Six months after the facility was launched, we need to expand the number of projects: the moment to get investment back on track is now, not in two years' time. What counts for growth is that the Juncker Plan unblocks finance for innovative new projects that have difficulty completing their finance plan with traditional instruments."
Emmanuel Macron, Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, added: "Investment Europe is on the march. In less than six months, the investment plan has been set up, the first projects have been financed and France has been fully mobilised in all sectors: innovation, digital, infrastructure, the energy transition, and so on. We must not relax our efforts to boost investment in France and Europe."
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, commented: "The national economies are faced with a dramatic fall in investment. The Investment Plan for Europe is designed to bring back investment in the real economy, growth and job creation. By financing innovative projects, the plan will give a vital boost to Europe's competitiveness – the Juncker Commission's top priority. As the person in charge of the Horizon 2020 financing programme, I shall continue to play my part in ensuring that innovation, SMEs and new technologies in sectors such renewable energy contribute to the success of the investment plan."
As the EIB's first equity participation in France under the Investment Plan for Europe, this project also represents the first renewable energy development operation under the Juncker Plan. This investment project will serve to finance means of energy production with a global capacity of over 500 MW and create more than 1 000 jobs during the construction and operation of the renewable energy projects supported. The EIB's participation in the form of an equity injection is expected to attract other international investors, helping Capenergie to speed up its fund-raising and grow its business.
With a target size of €200 million, the Capenergie 3 fund will leverage total investment of €1 billion. On the strength of its expertise in the sector, it will focus on European renewable energy production infrastructure projects. These decentralised projects will be developed by key SMEs in the sector (wind, solar, hydropower and heat networks). As a partner to such SMEs for the past ten years, Omnes Capital is a vital player in the renewable energies market.
"With the EIB's support, Capenergie 3 will be able to finance several hundred megawatts of power – meaning job creation in our regions – and foster the global development of partner SMEs in our projects. The market environment is favourable: renewables are now competitive with traditional sources of energy. So this is the right time for institutional investors to invest in this asset class" said Serge Savasta, Managing Director of Omnes Capital.