Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 0658A
Aquila Energy Efficiency Trust PLC
31 January 2022
 

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF ARTICLE 7 OF THE MARKET ABUSE REGULATION (EC NO. 596/2014) AS IT FORMS PART OF THE DOMESTIC LAW OF THE UNITED KINGDOM BY VIRTUE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (WITHDRAWAL) ACT 2018 (AS AMENDED) (THE "UK MARKET ABUSE REGULATION")

31 January 2022

Aquila Energy Efficiency Trust PLC

("AEET" or the "Company")

Board Changes, Investment Strategy Review, Initial Investments and Net Asset Value

Board Changes

Aquila Energy Efficiency Trust PLC announces that the Company's Non-Executive Directors, Laura Sandys and Lisa Arnold, have submitted their resignations to the Board.

The Board thanks Laura and Lisa for their contributions to the Company, and, notes that they are leaving because of a difference of opinion regarding the speed of deployment. Their resignations are effective immediately.

The other Board members, Miriam Greenwood (Chair) and Nicholas Bliss, remain committed to the Company, and a search has already been initiated for replacement Non-Executive Directors, including as chair of the audit committee. Nicholas Bliss has been appointed interim chair of the audit committee.   

Review of Investment Strategy

Given slower investment deployment than originally anticipated, the Board is undertaking a comprehensive review of the Company's investment strategy with a view to ascertaining how best to accelerate deployment, whilst maintaining the Company's prudent credit criteria and return objectives. An update will be provided to shareholders on the outcome of this review in due course. As part of this review the Board will be consulting with shareholders on their views.  

Initial Investments

The Company is also today announcing the first investments since its IPO in June last year.   

Italian Residential Energy Efficiency

The Company has agreed to invest €17.0m (approximately £14.0m) in energy efficiency projects in Italy's residential building sector. To date €11.9m (approximately £10.0m) has been deployed. The investment will focus on improving the energy efficiency of 16 residential buildings in Italy, with AEET's exposure prudently limited to tranches of 30%-40% of each project, and, these will be managed by two energy services companies ("ESCOs"), responsible for delivering a range of energy efficiency measures.  Such measures will include new, more efficient heating systems, insulation and windows. The projects are currently being implemented, and the total amount is expected to be deployed by October 2022. The investment has been made under Italy's "Superbonus 110" incentive scheme.   

Italian Rooftop Solar Investments

The Company has entered into a partnership with Noleggio Energia, a leading platform for providing financing solutions for energy efficiency and energy generating projects in Italy. The partnership has resulted in securing financing for two projects, which have been implemented, and we expect to finance additional projects, one of which has already been approved by the Board. 

The first investment of €0.35m is to finance a rooftop solar PV project located in Lombardy (Italy) for the Italian food product manufacturer, Galletti di Galletti Aurelio e C. snc ("Acetificio Galletti").  The second investment of €0.14m is to finance a rooftop solar PV project in Veneto (Italy) for Enofrigo SpA, an Italian designer and manufacturer of wine cabinets and refrigerated displays.  A third investment, Tecnocryo has been agreed between the Company and Noleggio Energia for a rooftop solar PV project, also based in Lombardy, for a total investment volume of €1.5m.

A further investment of €0.85m has also been made into a project developed by CO-VER Power Technologies, a leading Italian engineering firm. The project, a roof-mounted solar PV plant totaling 901.6 kWp, is based in Ascoli Piceno, Marche in central Italy. This financing is for a Solar PV plant operational since 2013, as opposed to a new build.

UK Lighting Investment

The Company has made its first investment in the UK market. The Company has invested €0.3m in a group of four operational lighting projects developed by a Northern Ireland based lighting service company, Lumenstream Limited. The Company views this as the first of a potential pipeline of projects with this counterparty.

At a time when millions of businesses and households across Europe and the UK are facing a significant increase in energy prices, an acceleration of the adoption of energy efficiency measures and a reduction in primary energy consumption, are a necessary and effective part of the solution, with the additional benefit of reducing carbon emissions.   

Net Asset Value

The Company also announces that its unaudited net asset value ("NAV") as at 31 December 2021 was 96.92 pence per ordinary share. This is calculated at the end of the first financial period for the Company on a cum-income basis.

 

For further information please contact:

Aquila Capital (Investment Adviser)                                                                                         Via Buchanan

 

Peel Hunt (Broker)                                                                                                                       020 7418 8900

Luke Simpson, Huw Jeremy (Investment Banking)

 

Buchanan (Financial PR)                                                                                                             020 7466 5000

Charles Ryland, Henry Wilson, George Beale

 

 

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