Foresight signs innovative £7.5 million deal with Utility Funding Limited to finance installation of smart meters

Foresight Group (“Foresight”), a leading independent alternative asset manager with a strategic focus on private equity, environmental and infrastructure announces the completion of an innovative deal with Utility Funding Limited (UFL) which will see Foresight investing £7.5 million over the next three years in support of UFL’s installation programme of smart meters across the UK.

Andrew Shannon, Investment Manager of Foresight, explains: “The pace with which the smart meter market is taking off has been to a large extent driven by UK Government regulation, which stipulates that each and every energy consumer must be supplied through a smart or advanced meter by the end of 2019.  The opportunity with UFL gives our investors a stable, simple, asset-backed solution which will deliver a good risk weighted return with strong asset backing, both of which are fundamental components for target investments in our Inheritance Tax Solution, Foresight ITS.”

Hugh Mullens of UFL added “Foresight is a great business partner having developed a clear understanding of the dynamics of our industry and our service provision. We look forward to working with them and expect the partnership to strengthen as the smart meter roll-out gathers pace. Foresight’s funding allows us to expand our activities across the market and augments our existing funding facilities.”

The transaction is further evidence of Foresight’s growing energy efficiency credentials following as it does the unique investment made in David Lloyd Leisure in early 2012.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Foresight: Ben Thompson: bthompson@foresightgroup.eu / +44 (0)20 3667 8155
Utility Funding: Hugh Mullens: hugh.mullens@utilityfunding.com / 01722 568039

Notes to editors:
About Foresight Group

Foresight is an independent alternative asset manager, 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).

Foresight manages the most successful VCT of all time, Foresight VCT (source Tax Efficient Review), which has returned more than £1.80 in dividend payments to investors since launch in 1997.

In 2012 Foresight launched Foresight ITS, an Inheritance Tax Solution product that uses Business Property Relief (BPR) qualifying investments to provide IHT exemption after two years and which targets capital preservation by investing in infrastructure projects including secondary PFI and ground mounted PV solar plants.

About Utility Funding Limited
Utility Funding is an OFGEM accredited Meter Asset Provider of both electricity and gas meters and was established in 2009 specifically to provide advanced electricity and gas meters on rental to energy suppliers supplying industrial and commercial consumers.

Utility Funding is supporting energy suppliers in meeting their obligations to undertake smart meter rollout for domestic consumers.

Utility Funding provides advanced and smart meters on rental to over 20 energy suppliers and supports installation programmes for both new entrant and established energy suppliers. The company has experienced strong and increasing demand for its services and is gearing up for the mass residential rollout due to commence in 2014.