GIB offshore fund reaches €1.1 billion

UK: The Green Investment Bank (GIB) in the UK has raised a further £355 million (€479 million) for its Offshore Wind Fund, bringing the total to £818 million (€1.1 billion).

GIB's Offshore Wind Fund has acquired the option of a 10% stake in RWE Innogy's 576MW Gwynt y Mor

In its second round of financing, GIB secured commitments from Swedish insurance and pension firm AMF Pensionsforsakring AB and UK group Strathclyde Pension Fund.

The investments represent the first move into the offshore wind sector for all three pension funds. They follow a first round of investments for the fund, announced in April 2015, when GIB raised £463 million. Investors include pension funds, insurance firms and a sovereign wealth fund.

Following close of the second round, the Offshore Wind Fund will acquire 10% of RWE Innogy's 576MW Gwynt y Mor offshore project, which was an option secured by GIB.

In March 2014, while Gwynt y Mor was still under construction, GIB announced it would acquire a 10% stake for £220 million upon completion of the project.

Gwynt y Mor was completed in March 2015 but GIB held off on completing the transaction until this second close of financing. The Offshore Wind Fund will now complete the acquisition of the 10% stake, expected to be finalised by the end of October. 

The Offshore Wind Fund now owns interests in three offshore wind assets: a 10% stake in 576MW Gwynt y Mor; a 24.95% stake in RWE's 90MW Rhyl Flats; and a 20% stake in Statkraft's 317MW Sheringham Shoal site.

GIB launched the fund in June 2014 with the aim of raising £1 billion (€1.35 billion) to invest in operational offshore wind projects and attract private equity to the sector.

The fund is managed by GIB Financial Services, a subsidiary of the state-owned bank. In June, the UK's chancellor, George Osborne, announced plans to sell of a majority share of GIB over the next five years to make it more attractive to the private sector.