EIP increases heating investment

Investee Company Name & Country – Relpol-Centrum (Poland)

Investee Company Business Type – Operates district power plants

Type of Financing – Expansion

Equity Providers – Environmental Investment Partners (EIP)

Equity Leader (Individual) – Rafal Malecki

Debt Providers – N/A

Debt Type – N/A

Equity Amount – euro3 million

Total Deal Value – euro3 million

Other Advisors – RSM Salustro Reydel and T. Studnicki K. Pleszka Z. Cwiakalski J. Górski KG (SPCG)

Comment – Environmental Investment Partners (EIP) announced the euro3 million investment yesterday, also revealing that they will acquire a 19.5 per cent stake in Relpol-Centrum for PLN 650,000 (euro 180,600) from Relpol SA, the company’s parent group.

EIP cited the management’s commitment to operating environmentally and the firm’s proprietary technology as the reasons behind the share acquisition. This will increase EIP’s stake in the company to 49.9 per cent.

Relpol-Centrum, a ten-year-old company, currently owns two efficiently operating coal-fired district heating plants and is involved in the operating of two other plants owned by Relpol, the parent company.

Relpol has also announced its intention to merge with Praterm, an energy-efficient company which is modernising twenty municipal heating systems.

Relpol-Centrum’s future plans include the privitisation and modernisation of three municipal heating plants. Following the funding from EIP, the company hopes to bring new technologies to Poland or expand internationally. Next year, the company anticipates achieving a turnover of PLN 40-50 million (euro11-13 million).

Formerly known as ASC Termotechnika, Relpol-Centrum reduces coal consumption by up to 25%, this lowers the cost of heat to customers and also cuts greenhouse emissions. This is achieved through process management and control systems, including software enabling remote control management of the boiler and distribution system. The company is Poland’s largest wholesaler of relays and power-related process control equipment.

Founded in 1998, with euro22 million from Groupe Caisse des Depots, the EBRD, VMH International of Belgium and the Swiss Government’s SECO fund, EIP’s aim is to capitalise on the emerging market for environmental technologies.

The fund has so far made eight investments in Central Europe, including three in Poland. In addition to the investment in Relpol-Centrum, the EIP fund has financed Finesco, a Polish energy efficiency firm. The shareholders of EIP have recently proposed to increase the fund’s size by 50%.