Israeli investors join $1 billion cleantech private equity fund

Poalim Capital Markets has invested an estimated $100 million.

Sources inform "Globes" that the Hudson Clean Energy Private Equity Fund has closed a $1 billion fund and that an Israeli bank is one of the founding investors. The fund plans investing sums of between $50-500 million in portfolio companies involved in wind energy, solar energy, infrastructures, energy storage and technologies based on alternative energy.

The fund will invest mainly in mature companies rather than start-ups and Israeli firms that can meet this criteria are: Solel Solar Systems Ltd., which was recently acquired by Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; XETRA: SIE), and BrightSource Industries (Israel) Ltd..

The main interesting Israeli angle regarding the new fund relates to the investors. Bank Hapoalim (LSE: 80OA; TASE: POLI) unit Poalim Capital Markets was one of the founding investors in 2007 together with senior veteran managers of Goldman Sachs, Australian bank Macquarie and the Wolfson family of New York. Credit Suisse subsequently invested $300 million in the fund.

Poalim Capital Markets declines to specify the sums it raised from clients but estimates are that it is about $100 million. The fund offers a rare opportunity for Israelis to participate in investments of this scale, and the fund's mandate is that all investments will be for five years with an exit at this end of this period.

The minimum amount for investors to participate in the fund was $5 million for private bodies and higher for institutional bodies. In Israel entry to the fund via Poalim Capital Markets was for institutions and "very rich individuals" in the words of the fund.

The fund had originally planned to raise $2.5 billion but because of the global economic crisis the target was reduced.

Following an agreement with the fund managers, it was branded in Israel as Poalim Hudson Clean Energy Fund.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 7, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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