Press Release ICQ Holding
Ambienta I invests in ICQ Holding
Ambienta I acquires a minority interest in ICQ Holding, parent of the ICQ Group, a leader in renewable energy power generation in Italy. Giulio Del Ninno named Chairman, Adelfo Paternò will be Staff Director.
Milan, 30 September ‐ Ambienta SGR, Italy’s principal private equity initiative in the environmental sector, has finalized an agreement for the Ambienta I fund to invest in ICQ Holding, so as to sustain its development plan for the next three years. The initial investment by Ambienta I is € 20.5 million, mostly in the form of a capital increase, for 15.4% of the capital. The agreement also provides for an option to invest an additional € 20 million to reach a total shareholding of 26.5%. ICQ Holding, parent of the ICQ Group, was formed in 1982 and was involved initially in environmental consulting.
Following the Group’s acquisition by Luigi De Simone and Luigi De Gasperi, it has specialized in the development of renewable energy and energy savings projects, becoming one of the leading companies in this field in Italy. Today theGroup has within its organization all the skills necessary to design, build and operate systems for producing energy from renewable sources, skills developed through an impressive portfolio of 1,200 MW of projects carried out on behalf of third parties. These include around 15% of the wind power generating capacity installed in Italy (major clients include Marcegaglia, Falck, Veronagest, Italgest), and numerous biogas plants that have made it one of the top three companies in this sector in Italy.
The ICQ Group closed 2007 with consolidated revenues of € 51.1 million and net earnings of € 15.8 million. The acquisition of a stake by Ambienta I will enable the ICQ Group to accelerate the development program it launched in 2004, with the creation of hydroelectric, wind and biogas plants, supporting it in its transformation from developer to utility company by providing the financial resources necessary to invest and by sustaining the expansion of the organizational structure under the leadership of managing director Luigi De Simone and chairman Giulio Del Ninno, former managing director of the Edison group.
The investment by the fund, in line with the group’s development plan objectives, involves the creation of an organizational model composed of three divisions that will report directly to the managing director Luigi De Simone. The marketing department will be led by Mario Gugliotta (shareholder and manager), the operations department by Michele Lucchesi (shareholder and manager), and the newly‐formed staff department by Adelfo Paternò, former CFO of various divisions of the Telecom Italia Group (TIM, Finsiel), responsible for administration, finance, management control, personnel, legal and procurement.
The three‐year business plan of ICQ Holding calls for € 600 million in capital expenditure and an increase in installed capacity from the current 70MW to 400 MW, primarily in the wind and hydroelectric fields, but also in biogas, biomass, photovoltaic solar and energy savings. Ambienta SGR, authorized by the Bank of Italy on 5 November 2007, is the most important Italian initiative for investments in the environmental sector. Investment selection and management are the responsibility of a management team composed of Nino Tronchetti Provera, Jonathan Gibson, Rolando Polli, Guido Rivolta and Mauro Roversi.
The Ambienta SGR asset management company is owned 70% by the management team, 20% by the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, and the remaining 10% by a group of leading Italian entrepreneurs, who have invested in the project privately or through their industrial groups. Through the Ambienta I fund, Ambienta SGR has already collected subscriptions of € 150 million, and estimates it will close fund raising at € 250 million.