Green venture capital fund plans to make long-term plays

Barry Williams, the co-founder of the Secondary Market Infrastructure Fund (SMIF), is forming a new renewable energy business to invest in a range of projects from solar power in Italy to biomass generation in the UK.

Aleltho Energy, of which Mr Williams is chief executive, has access to £75m from cornerstone funders and is looking for another £100m from asset investors by the end of the year. Mr Williams is joined by chairman Perry Noble, the former co-head head of the global finance practice at law firm Freshfields.

Aleltho will invest up to £30m in any one renewable energy asset. Unlike more short-term venture capital-type backing, Aleltho will typically invest for 10 or more years.

Mr Williams is identifying solar projects in Spain and Italy, as well as waste and biomass energy schemes predominantly in the UK.

"The first investment will be made, judging conservatively, in October this year," Mr Williams said. ""We have signed one arrangement and are considering £150m of opportunities."

SMIF was bought by Trillium, then part of the Ftse-100 property giant Land Securities, in 2007. Trillium was sold to Telereal, the property outsourcing group, for £750m in January.

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