Scottish Equity Partners sets up £135m investment fund

Scottish Equity Partners has set up a £135m investment fund for UK energy infrastructure projects.

Its "anchor" investment is to be SSE Pipelines, which it is buying from the energy utility.

That is being offloaded by the Perth-based company as it seeks to simplify its operations and pay down debt.

The SSE Pipelines business has been sold to the new investment Environmental Capital Fund (ECF) for £53m.

The asset is made up of low-pressure gas connections to 130,000 residential and commercial customers across the UK.

Debt reduction

SSE is investing £14m in the ECF, along with Scottish Equity Partners, one of Scotland's biggest venture capital funds.

The ECF, which is mainly aimed at clean energy investments, is also backed by a consortium of private equity investors led by Lexington Partners.

Gregor Alexander, finance director of SSE plc, said: "We have identified a range of assets and businesses which are not core to SSE's future plans and this disposal represents the latest step in the programme to significantly simplify the SSE group and secure proceeds and debt reduction estimated to total around £1bn.

"This transaction will ensure resources are fully focused on what is important and relevant to SSE plc's core purpose of providing the energy people need in a reliable and sustainable way whilst supporting future investment in clean energy."

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