Low Carbon Accelerator Limited (“the Company” or “LCA”) announces that it has increased its equity holding in Proven Energy Limited (“Proven Energy”) through a further investment of £800,000. In addition to this new equity investment, LCA will convert its £700,000 loan into equity. This takes LCA's total investment in Proven Energy to £6.65 million, representing an aggregate equity stake of 38.9%.
Proven Energy is a market leading manufacturer of small-scale, high-performance wind turbines in the UK. Proven Energy's clients include Sainsbury, B&Q, T-Mobile and Shell, for whom it provides marine-grade, explosion proof wind-turbines to power offshore gas platforms in the North Sea.
LCA previously announced that Proven Energy had appointed a preferred bidder for the acquisition of a majority stake in the company. Given the significant changes in the external economic environment since these negotiations began, it has not proved possible to close these negotiations on acceptable terms.
The new capital will allow Proven to invest in tooling and further improve efficiencies in manufacturing, leading to increased output and turnaround time from its state-of-the-art production facilities in Scotland.
Proven Energy has expanded rapidly since LCA's first investment in 2006 enjoying annualised sales growth averaging over 50% for the last three years. It now supplies its range of 2.5kW, 6kW and 15kW turbines to over 30 countries worldwide and holds a market leading position in the UK and increasingly Australia and New Zealand. The US remains a strong target market with orders having increased five-fold during 2008.
Andrew McMullan, CEO of Proven Energy said: “This has been a very positive and successful year for Proven Energy. We have increased sales in all key territories, our turbines have received approval for state grants and funding in the US which will make them more attractive for end-users and halve payback times, while in the UK they are eligible for double ROCs under the Renewables Obligation, which should also boost sales in the home market.”
“This extra injection of capital will allow us to ensure output meets demand and continue our successful trajectory into 2009 and beyond,” he added.
Andrew Affleck, Executive Chairman at Low Carbon Investors, the investment manager for Low Carbon Accelerator, said: “Proven Energy is well positioned as a successful UK engineering and manufacturing firm already exporting to a global market. Demand for wind turbines has remained strong despite the economic downturn and Proven Energy is now well poised to capitalise on this in the short term and over the coming years.”
About Low Carbon Accelerator:
Low Carbon Accelerator Limited (“LCA”) is a closed ended investment company created to invest in a portfolio of fast-growing low carbon businesses. LCA listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange on 11 October 2006, raising £44.5 million.
LCA's investment objective is to provide shareholders with an attractive return on their investment primarily through significant minority (predominately 25% and above) holdings in a diverse portfolio of unquoted private companies providing low carbon products and services.
LCA invests principally in companies which provide low carbon products and services across the following sectors:
Buildings (sustainable building materials, heating, lighting, clean air and water technologies for industrial, commercial and/or residential use)
Fuels (bio-fuels, low carbon fuels, catalysts and additives)
Energy efficiency (reductions in energy inputs at source, improved conversion and reductions at point of use)
Energy generation (sustainable and clean energy, micro and distributed generation)
LCA's investment strategy is to target trading businesses with patentable technologies and products with a clear commercial application and the opportunity to gain a large market share of a new or expanding market. LCA focuses on businesses with experienced management teams who have developed commercially viable products providing easily adoptable solutions which deliver immediate reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.
For more information please visit: www.lowcarbonaccelerator.com