News & Insights

FSP Venture Capital team advised Earth Capital Limited on launch of Sustainable Energy Holdings Limited, an innovative UK-based bioenergy generation company

Penelope Garden (partner and head of PE & VC) with assistance from Alex Illingworth (legal director and head of banking) has advised Earth Capital Limited (“ECL”), a leading UK growth equity impact investor, on the launch of its new company, Sustainable Energy Holdings Limited (“SEHL”), formed of a merger of four of its portfolio companies, all low-carbon bioenergy generation assets: Eccleshall Biomass, Limelight Energy, Black Dog Biogas and Bright Light Energy Ltd.

These UK-based biomass-fuelled renewable energy plants will now benefit from a single dedicated management team which will focus on operational performance, and a consolidation of financial and commercial functions. Together, these facilities will generate 3.89 MW of base load renewable energy, enough to power 9,000 homes and will avoid the emission of 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

In the medium term, SEHL will improve performance via additions to the platform’s asset base through a buy-and-build strategy, which will encompass the acquisition and development of new plants and the improvement of existing assets. A pipeline of possible opportunities to expand the portfolio through the addition of high-potential assets within the UK’s biomass and waste sectors has been identified and will create a scalable bioenergy company in the UK, with the potential for future deployment elsewhere. The new group will continue to benefit from ECL’s experience in strategic development, operational efficiency, and transaction support.

With higher energy prices and a stronger focus on domestically produced, renewable, baseload energy; bioenergy output will become increasingly important in a volatile energy market dominated by wind and solar energy.

Avent Bezuidenhoudt, Head of Investment and Director of ECL, said: “The establishment of this platform demonstrates how growth equity can find and finance appealing renewable energy solutions while also delivering a range of benefits to local and national stakeholders. This platform’s growth also furthers the UK’s ambition to reach Net Zero by 2050 and sets an example as to how agriculture can hasten our transition to a low carbon economy.”

She added “I wouldn’t have wanted to do such a complicated transaction without the expertise and support of Penelope and Alex, it’s always a pleasure working with them.”

Craig Ibbetson, CEO of SEHL, said: “The support we have received from Earth Capital Ltd both financial as well as strategic and operational has helped to create increased efficiency and significant value-add across the company. This will not only facilitate the next stage in our development and make a big, positive difference to the local communities we serve in terms of renewable energy, but also underlines the progress we’ve made over the last few years in a very challenging business climate.”