PensionDanmark has paid “triple digit millions” of Danish kroner for an undisclosed minority stake in Stiesdal, a Danish cleantech company working to mitigate climate change through four different technologies.
Founded in 2016, the company develops floating offshore wind foundations; energy storage technology; PtX technology, which converts electricity into green fuels; and the production of carbon-negative aircraft fuel through pyrolysis.
Claus Stampe, chief investment officer at PensionDanmark, told IPE: “We see the investment as a way for us to gain additional exposure to the energy transition through an investment offering an attractive risk/return profile, which is complementary to our other infrastructure investments in renewable energy.”
The development of Stiesdal’s technologies matches the pension fund’s aim of mitigating climate change, while creating new jobs in Denmark, he added.
Stampe told IPE: “We expect a return that reflects the current early stage of the business and sufficiently compensates us for the associated investment risk.”
The stake will sit in the pension fund’s private equity portfolio, which makes up around 4.5% of its €36bn total assets.
Stampe said the pension fund’s commercial and technical due diligence had concluded that all of Stiesdal’s technologies are well-positioned to potentially be among the leading technologies within their business areas.
He added that Stiesdal had already seen strong customer traction with major players in the renewables space.
Stampe said Stiesdal had succeeded in attracting highly capable individuals with a track record in exploiting renewable energy technologies, and had an “excellent” team, both in management and throughout the organisation.
The company’s chief executive officer is Henrik Stiesdal, who sold the design for his first wind turbine to Vestas in 1979, and was chief technology officer at Siemens Wind Power for ten years until 2014.
PensionDanmark will invest by subscribing new shares, alongside fresh capital from the existing owners.
It will take a hands-on approach to its investment, with two directors on Stiesdal’s seven-member board – one from its investment team, and an external appointee with relevant sector experience.