Tchenguiz-backed cleantech private equity fund closes

TYCOON Vincent Tchenguiz yesterday stamped a seal on his commitment to environmentally-friendly investment, reaching the final close of a new private equity fund dedicated to clean technology.

The Evolution One Fund raised 700m South African rand (£61.9m) of capital from investors including Tchenguiz’ Consensus Business Group, the fund’s founding cornerstone investor.

It plans to invest in a range of new energy and environment-focused technology projects in South Africa and other developing southern African nations such as Botswana, Tanzania and Mozambique, with a minimum investment of 10m rand and a maximum of 100m rand.

Tchenguiz is thought to have invested around half of the initial capital, though he has also deployed his weighty contact book to bring in seven other heavyweight investors. These include the African Development Bank, divisions of the World Bank Group and European Investment Fund, and development funds based in South Africa, Switzerland, Finland and Norway.

“The fund management team comprises nine principals and analysts who bring their unique breadth and depth of commercial, financial and sustainability credentials,” said Tchenguiz. “This is combined with strong black empowerment credentials and the ability to structure broad based black economic empowerment transactions.”

The fund’s first three investments will be announced within weeks.