Foresight raises over £25 million for Foresight Solar EIS Fund 2

Foresight Group (Foresight) is delighted to announce another successful fundraising season for tax year 2012/2013, having raised a total of £50m+, with more than 50% of that figure accounted for by the £26m+ raised for Foresight Solar EIS Fund 2 between launch on 7th February and 5th April.

Key Highlights
Foresight Solar EIS Fund 2 was the fastest EIS fundraising in tax year 2012/2013 raising £26.7 million in just two months

• Foresight Solar EIS Fund 2 and Foresight Solar VCT –C Shares are both the top-ranked EIS and VCT by Tax Efficient Review www.taxefficientreview.com

• In tax year 2012/2013 Foresight has raised in excess of £50m from retail investors

Although the VCT and EIS market took a while to get going this season with the interruption of RDR implementation and the uncertainty caused by the ongoing consultation relating to the FCA’s regulatory review under CP12/19, it is estimated that the VCT market for 2012/2013 (excluding Enhanced Share Buy Backs) will total c.£208 million, down 20% on the equivalent figure for 2011/2012, while around £170 million has been raised in EISs for tax year 2012/2013, giving Foresight a 16% market share of the EIS market.

Foresight Solar EIS Fund 2, and Foresight Solar VCT C Shares remain open for investment for Tax Year 2013/14, and capitalise on Foresight’s extensive experience in renewable energy. Funds will be invested in UK Solar Power Plants where investors can benefit from the enhanced revenue streams possible under the Government’s Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme. In addition to income derived from selling the generated electricity, generation plants accredited under the RO scheme receive 20 years of income from the sale of Renewable Obligation Certificates, which substantially increases the Solar Power Plants’ returns.

Mike Currie, Partner and Sales Director for Foresight, puts the appeal of Foresight Solar EIS Fund 2 down to the combination of Foresight’s strong track record in Solar investing, an attractive target return of 120p in year 4, the CGT deferral and Income Tax reliefs that come with EISs, and the Individual Roll over option for investors who wish to remain invested.
Mr Currie commented: "Our Solar EIS has had immediate appeal for EIS investors with a healthy target return in year 4, in a maturing sector which offers index-linked revenue streams. We expect our Solar VCT – C Shares, which only had a 4 week period from launch to end of tax year, to fill up steadily as the attractions of Solar Investing become apparent. Our experience in infrastructure investing has been a telling advantage, with both our EIS and VCT offerings ranked highest among new offerings by Tax Efficient Review this season”

Foresight has more than £60 million EIS funds under management and some £250 million of VCT funds under management, and a £310 million portfolio of solar assets in the UK, Italy and Spain. It recently opened a US office in San Francisco and is raising an institutional fund to acquire solar assets in North America.

Ben Thompson, Group Marketing Director at Foresight added: "When you think that enough solar energy reaches the earth every hour to meet the world’s energy consumption for a whole year, it’s heartening to know that even with last year’s record rainfall in the UK, our solar assets in the UK are all generating ahead of base case, delivering strong returns for our investors. We expect the considerable interest in our Solar EIS Fund 2 and Solar VCT C Shares to be maintained into the 2013/14 tax year.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Ben Thompson: bthompson@foresightgroup.eu / +44 (0)20 3667 8155
Notes to editors:

Foresight is an independent specialist private equity, infrastructure and environmental investor, which focuses primarily on investments in unquoted UK and European companies or projects and offers investors exclusive access to attractive income and growth opportunities.

Foresight has in excess of £650 million assets under management across a number of funds, including Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and offices in the UK, Italy and the USA where it recently opened an office in San Francisco to acquire solar infrastructure assets in North America for institutional investors.

Foresight has been appointed by the Green Investment Bank to manage £50 million of an initial £80 million investment fund set aside by UK Government to invest in green infrastructure across the UK.

In the solar sector, Foresight’s solar funds have already invested in more than £310 million of operating PV assets in the UK, Italy and Spain. Foresight is currently raising an institutional fund to invest in solar PV in North America.

In 2011 Foresight successfully closed fundraisings for Foresight Solar VCT at £38 million, Foresight Solar EIS at £27.5 million and in 2012, fully subscribed at £33 million, its unique Infrastructure VCT Shares offering – the innovative new share class which targets investments in energy generation projects and secondary PFI.

Foresight manages the most successful VCT ever*, Foresight VCT which has returned approximately £1.80 in dividends to its investors since launch in 1997. *source: Martin Churchill Tax Efficient Review.