Octopus  

Octopus renewable energy trust raises £350m in first placing

Octopus renewable energy trust raises £350m in first placing

The Octopus Renewables investment trust has raised £350m in its first placing, exceeding its initial target by £100m. 

The Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust will invest in renewable energy in Europe and Australia, including onshore wind farms and solar parks, amid increasing consumer appetite for ethical and sustainable investments.

In November Octopus Renewables announced it intended to raise £250m at its initial public offering - a target which it has now exceeded. 

Philip Austin, chairman of the trust, said: "We are delighted with the response to our IPO, with demand significantly exceeding our target fundraise.

"We look forward to welcoming a broad range of investors to our register, including some of the UK's leading institutions as well as a strong base of retail investors."

Octopus set up Octopus Renewables in 2010 as its specialist renewable energy investment business and today confirmed it already had a "substantial" pipeline of assets in which to invest the proceeds of the IPO over the next six months. 

The assets in which the trust will invest are either already operating, in construction or construction-ready, in a move Octopus hopes will "meaningfully increase" the supply of green energy. 

Matt Setchell, co-head of Octopus Renewables, said: "We look forward to increasing renewable infrastructure both in the UK and internationally and helping to mitigate climate change which is vital for us and future generations.

"The listing is testament to strong institutional and retail investor interest not just in returns but also in making a meaningful impact with their investments."   

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing has become a more prominent part of the global investment space in recent years, with ranking systems for ESG products now added to the market.

But with the evolving investor appetite has emerged the risk of green-washing, a phenomenon which sees firms market products and investments to appear more sustainable and ethical than they really are.

But the FCA has pledged to crack down on this practice in a bid to protect consumers from being misled. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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