Foresight launches £20m fund

UK private equity and sustainable energy investor Foresight Group has launched a new £20m environmental EIS fund and has introduced a top-up offer in Foresight venture capital trusts 3 and 4.

The top-up offer is aimed at giving investors the ability to diversify their portfolio in this difficult economic cycle. New and existing shareholders in Foresight VCTs 3 and 4, can subscribe for new VCT shares to raise up to £10m per vehicle.

Aimed at experienced investors, the Foresight Environmental EIS Fund 2’s IRR target is 20% and it has a minimum investment size of £10,000. The fund will invest in established businesses through management buy-outs of and the provision of growth capital to companies in the environmental sector.

This appears to be a good time to be investing in the UK environmental sector as it is forecast to increase in value from £106 billion in 2007/08 to over £150 billion in 2015. At present there are approximately 54,000 active companies in the UK sector, of which about 91% are SMEs.

Group sales director at Foresight Group, Mike Currie, said: “These products are being launched at a time when the longer term prospects for environmental businesses are extraordinarily positive and when Foresight has the strongest deal flow in its 25 year history. The Finance Act 2009, which introduced a higher rate of income tax and reduced personal tax allowances for higher earning individuals and restricted tax relief on pension contributions, has necessitated a move towards tax-efficient investment opportunities.”

Partner in the private equity team, Donald MacLennan, investment director, Sonia Powar and investment manager Chris Price will be responsible for the EIS Fund.