We have a deep understanding of the needs of our clients and our focus is on delivering appropriate risk adjusted performance – innovatively and responsibly.
Our approach is underpinned by distinctive investment strategies and our ability to source high quality direct equity investment opportunities that allow our clients to access the very best investment opportunities.
In 2007 we participated in a consortium to acquire a stake in AWG, a regulated UK water asset and in 2011 made a follow on investment.
AWG is the dominant water and wastewater provider in East Anglia and is the fourth largest water supply and sewerage company in England and Wales by regulated capital value (‘RCV’). The company has around four million water and six million sewerage customers and covers the largest geographic area of any UK water company.
Led by a proven, high-quality management team, since our initial investment, the asset has generated attractive inflation linked returns.
Hermes Infrastructure acquired a portfolio of residential solar PV systems from A Shade Greener Limited (‘ASG’), in July 2012. The portfolio comprises 2,146 systems held by A Shade Greener (‘F2’) Limited, with total installed capacity of 7.9MWp.
F2 maintains and operates the solar PV systems installed on residential rooftops under leases granted by residential homeowners at no cost, pursuant to which the homeowner receives the supply of free electricity. Approximately half of the electricity generated is used by the on-site domestic home owner, with the rest of the power exported for use by the national grid. ASG I benefits from stable regulatory support via the UK feed-in tariff (‘FIT’) providing fixed RPI linked payments for each unit of electricity produced, mitigating exposure to volume and price volatility. The portfolio is one of a small number of residential solar PV portfolios of significant scale in the UK, and includes systems with an average installation size of 3.68kWp.
In January 2014, Hermes Infrastructure acquired a follow-on investment of a portfolio of 7,313 residential solar PV systems from A Shade Greener Limited (‘ASG’). The portfolio has a total installed capacity of 26.6MWp.
ASG II benefits from stable regulatory support via the UK feed-in tariff (‘FIT’) providing fixed RPI linked payments for each unit of electricity produced, mitigating exposure to volume and price volatility. ASG II is one of a small number of residential solar PV portfolios of significant scale in the UK. The systems across the portfolios have an average installation size of 3.64kWp.
Like ASG I, ASG II was also acquired without the use of third party leverage. The installed capacity of both portfolios amounts to c.35 megawatts.
In 2015 Hermes Infrastructure, in consortium with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (‘CPPIB’), acquired a 40% interest in Associated British Ports (‘ABP’).
The UK conducts around 95% of its trade through the ports sector and ABP is the UK’s leading port group, owning and operating 21 ports in England, Scotland and Wales. These handle around a quarter of the country’s seaborne trade. ABP and its customers together support 84,000 jobs around Britain and contribute £5.6bn to the UK economy every year.
ABP is a high quality infrastructure business that operates under a landlord port model that delivers long term stable cash flows. Our investment has been made as part of our Core strategy where we seek to invest in mature assets with strong defensive characteristics.
ABP’s other shareholders are Borealis (the infrastructure investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), CPPIB, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, and Wren House (the infrastructure investment arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority).
In June 2013, HIF I acquired a 50% stake in the Braes of Doune wind farm from Centrica Plc, an LSE-listed integrated utility company. Braes of Doune is a 72MW, 36 Vestas turbine wind farm site in Stirlingshire, Scotland. It has been operational since 2007 and is forecast to generate enough clean energy to offset c.70,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.
Braes of Doune was acquired with over five years of operating history providing an established site-specific wind resource and at least 17 years of remaining cash flows. A material proportion of its revenues and cash flows are linked to RPI through its participation in the Renewables Obligation Certificate (‘ROC’) regime. Centrica continues to buy 100% of the wind farm’s output under a route to market long-term Power Purchase Agreement. We acquired our interest without the use of third party leverage.
The co-shareholder is Greencoat UK Wind Plc, a sector-focused UK infrastructure fund listed on the LSE main market.
In March 2017, Hermes Infrastructure acted as the largest UK based shareholder in a consortium of long term investors in the acquisition of a 61% shareholding in National Grid’s four UK gas distribution networks (‘GDNs’) (together, ‘Cadent’).
The four UK regulated gas distribution networks own and maintain gas pipelines and associated infrastructure, supplying gas to domestic, commercial and industrial premises across the UK.
The assets are critical to the UK’s energy infrastructure, with 131,000km of pipelines across the UK, providing gas to c.11 million consumers.
The UK is highly reliant on natural gas to meet its energy needs and the GDNs currently comprise half of the UK’s gas distribution networks which is the largest group of gas distribution network assets under common ownership by regulated asset value in the UK.
Hermes Infrastructure’s investment in Cadent has been made as part of our Core strategy.
In July 2016 Hermes Infrastructure acquired a 25.6% stake in Energy Assets Group Limited (‘EAG’) alongside Alinda Capital Partners. Prior to the transaction, Energy Assets was listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
Energy Assets is a leading provider of smart and advanced utility meters and data recording devices to the gas and electricity industrial and commercial (‘I&C’) markets, in addition to related infrastructure and data services. Strong market growth in smart and advanced meter installations is anticipated up to 2020 as a result of the UK Government’s requirement for I&C energy customers to have smart or advanced meters by 2020. EAG’s portfolio includes advanced meters and automated meter reading (‘AMR’) devices which meet these requirements.
Hermes Infrastructure’s investment in EAG has been made as part of our Value Added strategy.
In May 2015, Hermes Infrastructure acquired a 10% stake in Eurostar. We purchased a combined 40% stake in the company from the UK Government, in partnership with Canada’s Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, a leading North American long-term institutional investor.
Eurostar has firmly established its credentials as one of Europe’s leading international high speed rail operators, carrying over 150 million passengers through the Channel Tunnel since services began in 1994. Eurostar has c1,600 employees and is headquartered in London. The train fleet has recently been upgraded and offers customers an enhanced service, as well as allowing the company to carry more passengers and improve the energy efficiency of its operations. Eurostar now offers links to over 100 destinations across Europe via Paris, Brussels and Lille, and has ambitious plans to continue to develop its international route network.
Hermes Infrastructure’s investment in Eurostar has been made as part of our Value Added strategy where we seek to invest in mature assets with a strong market position. Eurostar’s position as the sole provider of passenger rail services through the Channel Tunnel ensures a good strategic fit.
Eurostar’s other shareholders are Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (‘SNCF’) (55%) and Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Belges (‘SNCB’) (5%), the publicly owned national rail operators of France and Belgium respectively. Both are highly experienced rail operators and have played a key role in the development of Eurostar.
In December 2013, Hermes Infrastructure acquired a majority interest in Fallago Rig from EDF Energy in a debt-free transaction. Fallago Rig was the UK’s fifth-largest onshore wind farm (at the time of acquisition on 6 December 2013) and EDF retained a 20% ownership stake.
The wind farm is comprised of 48 turbines with 144 megawatts of generation capacity. Located 35km south-east of Edinburgh, Scotland in a remote part of the Scottish Borders, Fallago Rig’s capacity to produce clean energy is estimated at 445,800 megawatt hours of electricity per annum and displace approximately 190,000tn of CO2 each year. Fallago Rig has the capacity to provide about 90,000 typical UK households with power each year.
Fallago Rig is an asset in our Core portfolio: its predictable inflation linked cashflows are generated in a stable, transparent and supportive regulatory environment through its participation in Renewables Obligation Certificate (‘ROC’) regime. The investment has been made without the use of third party leverage materially reducing the potential dispersion of investment returns and volatility for our clients whilst still delivering attractive risk adjusted returns.
EDF Energy remains one of the wind farm’s primary customers. Under a long-term power purchase agreement (‘PPA’), the electricity retailer purchases 50% or more of Fallago Rig’s output for 15 years. The balance of the offtake has been purchased by BT plc under a long term PPA.
Southern Water operates the seventh largest water supply and sewerage company in England and Wales. It supplies drinking water to almost one million households and treats and recycles wastewater from nearly two million households, operating in one of the country’s fastest growing and most affluent regions. The original direct investment was part of a consortium transaction to acquire Southern Water in October 2007 alongside infrastructure funds managed by JP Morgan Asset Management and UBS Global Asset Management.
In May 2016, Hermes Infrastructure acquired a further interest in Southern Water on behalf of clients, increasing Hermes Infrastructure’s interest to 21%.
The dominant water provider in south England delivers predictable regulated revenue streams and opportunities to capture incremental returns from capital expenditure programmes.
In October 2013, Hermes Infrastructure acquired a significant stake in Thames Water. Serving over 14 million customers in the London and Greater London area, Thames Water is the UK’s largest provider of water and sewerage services in the UK. It operates across the entire water and sewerage spectrum comprising raw water storage, water treatment and supply, distribution sewerage, sewerage treatment and sludge disposal plants and 349 sewage treatment works within the business.
The UK water sector operates under a mature and transparent regulatory regime, providing long term stable and predictable inflation linked cash flows. Hermes Infrastructure’s investment in Thames Water has been made as under the Core strategy.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and targets are not guaranteed. The above information does not constitute a solicitation or offer to any person to buy or sell any related securities or financial instruments. It does not represent all of the securities bought or sold in the portfolio and that it should not be assumed that the above securities were or will be profitable. A list of all purchases and sales is available upon request. References to future expectations cannot be guaranteed. The above information is at 31 December 2016.
Issued and approved by Hermes Investment Management Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: Lloyds Chambers, 1 Portsoken Street, London E1 8HZ. Telephone calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes. Potential investors in the United Kingdom are advised that compensation will not be available under the United Kingdom Financial Services Compensation Scheme.