Gresham House expands in real assets with Hazel Capital purchase

Gresham House, the alternatives fund manager part-owned by the Berkshire Pension Fund, is buying an infrastructure manager.

The AIM-listed company has agreed to buy Hazel Capital, which specialises in renewable energy.

Gresham House said it was complementary to its existing real assets division and the objectives of its recently launched British Strategic Investment Fund.

In February, Gresham House launched the fund to invest in renewable infrastructure, housing and innovation. The Berkshire Pension Fund provided cornerstone investment for the fund and took a 20% stake in Gresham House.

The company first moved into real assets in 2015 with the acquisition of Scottish forestry company Aitchesse.

Gresham House has agreed to provide growth capital to Hazel Capital through a secured £4.6m (€5.36m) loan.

Hazel Capital, founded in 2007 by Ben Guest, advises close to £100m of assets, and runs Venture Capital Trusts and Enterprise Investment Schemes.

The firm has developed or acquired roughly 300 megawatts in the UK solar market across 28 projects.

Tony Dalwood, chief executive of Gresham House, said: “We see a substantial growth opportunity in renewables and new energy infrastructure-related assets.

“Hazel Capital’s success in generating market-leading returns through its VCT and EIS platform within the growth areas of infrastructure-related asset management, fits well with our strategy to develop our range of alternative and illiquid investment solutions for long-term investors.”

Hazel Capital, active in the battery storage and electric car charging infrastructure markets, is expecting to commission three ESS projects this year serving the National Grid, totalling 85 megawatts.

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