LUXEMBOURG – Financial services group Old Mutual is sponsoring the launch of a European offshore energy fund to take advantages of rapid changes to the continent’s energy market.
The fund, managed by Gerrard Energy Ventures, a Luxembourg based subsidiary, aims to raise a minimum of e150m from institutions and individuals to invest in gas and electricity businesses in Europe.

The company says the increasing amount of cross-border acquisitions and new business formations creates an appealing market. The sector is comparable in size to the European telecommunications market, accounting annually for e300bn, or 6% of European GDP, the company’s board suggests.

The fund has decided to focus first on early stage financing of high growth businesses, which has already started with a funding of e15m by Old Mutual. The initial closing is scheduled for April 30. The company’s board intends to invest in a minimum of ten companies, none of which should represent more than 15% of the invested assets.

The fund will be chaired by John Devaney, former chief executive of The Energy Group.
Eric Anstee, chief executive, financial services at Old Mutual becomes the chairman of the fund’s investment managers.