The latest news from Quercus and its specialist advisory team

Quercus realises more than a 9% return on the disposal of its stake in ForVEI, a renewable energy Private Equity joint venture

Milan, London, Rome, Luxembourg, Dubai: 16 January, 2017: Quercus Assets Selection, which specialises in renewable infrastructure investments announces, from the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, that its subsidiary, Quercus Renewable Energy Fund, has completed the sale of its stake in ForVEI, a joint venture comprising Quercus Renewable Energy, VEI Capital, Foresight Solar VCT and Adenium Solar Energy. ForVEI operates in the Private Equity as well as in the infrastructure and energy sectors in Italy.

Quercus initially invested €8 million in ForVEI in 2011, and at the time of its disposal late in December 2016, owned a stake close to 10% in the joint venture. The sale generated an IRR of higher than 9% for Quercus and it represents the first disposal by the Quercus Renewable Energy Fund (QRE), which was launched in 2010. The funds raised from the sale will result in a dividend distribution to investors in the first quarter of this year. The QRE fund seeks to exit investments within a 5-7-year investment period and it is intended that the fund will liquidate by the end of 2018.

Diego Biasi, Co-Founder and CEO of Quercus: “The ForVEI vehicle has been a very good and stable investment for Quercus and we are delighted to exit with an attractive IRR. The Italian renewable energy sector operates amberainst the backdrop of a stable regulatory environment. However, as relative early entrants into the market, when the regulatory environment was less predictable, the Quercus investment approach managed to invest effectively and with a clear set of long term objectives in mind. The QRE portfolio has been optimised over the years and is set to meet investors’ long term expectations.” 

The disposal of ForVEI follows recent news of the €150 million first close of a series of three renewable infrastructure funds that are seeking to raise a combined €500 million by December 2018. The three new funds are targeting an annual dividend yield of 6%, distributed semi-annually and an IRR above 11%. These funds will place Quercus among the top three renewable energy infrastructure funds in Europe.

The Company also announced in December the distribution of its first special dividend, equating to approximately 20%, from its Italian Solar Fund, and a new bond issue amounting to approximately €125m at a coupon rate close to 3% with an expiration date of 20 years. The Company is now looking further afield for investors and investment opportunities as it looks to roll out its investment strategy in new jurisdictions.

 About Quercus

Quercus Investment Partners Limited, based in London, is regulated by the FCA and provides consultancy services to Quercus Assets Selection Sarl, general partner of the SICAV-SIF Quercus Assets Selection SCA which is regulated by the CSSF in Luxembourg.

The objective of Quercus Assets Selection is to create a balanced portfolio of assets, diversified both technologically and geographically, which protect against inflation and provide a low correlation with traditional financial markets and deliver stable and predictable cash flows over a long investment period.

For further information please visit www.quercus-partners.com or contact:

 Quercus

Farid Nouriev

Investor Relations

Tel: +44 20 7871 4535

E-mail: farid.nouriev@quercus-partners.com

Instinctif Partners, UK Media Enquiries

Mark Walter

George Yeomans Тel:+44 (0)20 7457 2020

E-mail: Quercus@instinctif.com

Be Media, ITA Media Enquiries

Alberto Murer

M: +393346086216

E:  a.murer@bemedia.it

Daniele Occhi

M: +393467549834

E: d.occhi@bemedia.it

 

Quercus: successful €125m bond issue and first special dividend (~20%) for investors.

London, Rome, Luxembourg, 23 December 2016: Quercus Assets Selection, which specialises in renewable energy infrastructure investments, is pleased to announce that it has finalised the largest bond issue to date in Italy. It will target a portfolio of solar power plants through the subsidiary Azienda Solare Italiana (ASI), as well as distributing its first special dividend, equating to approximately 20%, from its Italian Solar Fund, launched earlier this year.

The bond issue, named ASI Brainwave 2, amounts to approximately €125m at a 2.5% coupon rate with an expiration date of 20 years.

The bond offering was oversubscribed by almost 3 times, with the majority of buyers originating from the insurance industry, which illustrates that institutional investors maintain their focus on, and confidence in, the renewable energy sector—and specifically the Quercus project.

The special dividend comes less than a year after the launch of the Italian Solar Fund and a few weeks after the first closing of €150m for the combined Italian Wind fund, Italian Solar fund and European MultiTech fund.

Quercus, was founded by Diego Biasi, CEO, and is currently chaired by Vito Gamberale. Ownership of ASI is split evenly between Quercus and Swiss Life, the highly regarded Swiss insurance group rated AAA by S&P.

ASI owns a portfolio of some of the most efficient solar farms in Italy, scattered across Lazio, Apulia and Sicily. Quercus and Swiss Life bought the company last June, and subsequently other farms were acquired as “add-ons” in the region of Molise.

The bond issue was carried out to optimise the debt structure of the entire portfolio.

Diego Biasi, CEO of Quercus, emphasises that “Due to the debt restructuring and other efficiency measures, we have managed to free up financial resources that will go towards a special dividend of approximately 20% of the capital invested by the Quercus Italian Solar Fund. The payment will be made in two stages: one before Christmas, and the other after the approval of the 2016 financial statements. We are extremely pleased to be able to return significant value to our longstanding and supportive shareholders”

We have been extremely effective at realising the investment opportunities that we identified” said Vito Gamberale, Chairman of Quercusand we have turned investors’ commitments into actual and highly profitable investments in a very short time.”

“The various efficiency gains” continued Mr Gamberale “show that the funds that directly manage their assets are the most adept at creating value from acquisitions. It is incredibly unlikely that an external asset management team would have been able to achieve the same result”.

About Quercus

Quercus Investment Partners Limited, based in London, is regulated by the FCA and provides consultancy services to Quercus Assets Selection Sarl, general partner of the SICAV-SIF Quercus Assets Selection SCA which is regulated by the CSSF in Luxembourg.

The objective of Quercus Assets Selection is to create a balanced portfolio of assets, diversified both technologically and geographically, which protect against inflation and provide a low correlation with traditional financial markets and deliver stable and predictable cash flows over a long investment period.

For further information please visit www.quercus-partners.com or contact:

Quercus

Farid Nouriev

Investor Relations

Phone: +44 20 7871 4535

E-mail: farid.nouriev@quercus-partners.com

Instinctif Partners, UK Media Enquiries

Mark Walter

George Yeomans
Тel:+44 (0)20 7457 2020

E-mail: Quercus@instinctif.com

Be Media, Ufficio stampa ITA

Alberto Murer

M: +393346086216

E:  a.murer@bemedia.it

Daniele Occhi

M: +393467549834

E: d.occhi@bemedia.it

Quercus announces the €150 million first close of its new renewable energy infrastructure funds

€150 million raised for projects held in the Quercus European Renewables fund, Quercus Italian Solar fund and the Quercus Italian Wind fund

London, Rome, Luxembourg: 9 December, 2016: Quercus Assets Selection, which specialises in infrastructure investments with a focus on renewable energy, announces that it has reached its first collection target of €150 million for new projects, led by its Co-Founder and CEO, Diego Biasi.

The three new Quercus funds are targeting an annual dividend yield of 6%, distributed semi-annually and an IRR above 11%. Quercus is looking to raise a combined target of €500 million across the three funds by December 2018. Upon reaching this target, Quercus will be among the top three renewable energy infrastructure funds in Europe. The funds’ next closing is expected to take place during the first half of 2017. The funds have attracted investment from a number of blue chip institutional investors, from Life Insurance providers, banking foundations, mutual funds, and pension funds.

Quercus launched the three funds early in 2016 as part of a unique project to combine three separate renewable energy funds to provide investors with choice and flexibility. The €150 million Italian Wind fund will invest in Italian wind projects, the €150 million Italian Solar fund will invest in Photovoltaic plants, while the €200 million European MultiTech fund will invest in solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass projects, preferably in Scandinavia, in the United Kingdom and in Italy. The funds will capitalise on opportunities presented by fragmentation in the broader European renewable market.

Quercus has built a successful track record over 6 years, which has seen the firm complete fundraising for two funds that have invested approximately €200 million globally, generating an annual dividend yield of 5% and 6% and an IRR of between 9-10%.

Diego Biasi, Co-Founder and CEO of Quercus commented: “2016 is proving to be another big year for Quercus. We are on-track to doubling our AUM, as we have each year since our inception, despite fundraising during a time of increasing global market volatility. The aim of these funds is to capitalise on our growing scale to capture the growth opportunities presented by the need for consolidation in the European renewable energy space. We are aiming to be one of the largest European investors in renewable energy within the next five years, and we will do so by collaborating with the top financial and industrial partners across Europe.”

Vito Gamberale, Chairman of Quercus commented: “Our goal is to acquire existing facilities that have a minimum of three years’ consolidated activity behind them, thereby ensuring that Quercus owned plants reach our productivity targets. This aspect, along with defined rates attributed to each facility, translates into returns that match high yield bonds while also benefitting from investing in investment grade assets whose returns are totally uncorrelated from market volatility.”

The first close of these three exciting funds follows the execution of Quercus’ first major strategic acquisition in 2016, when we partnered with Swiss Life Asset Managers to acquire Antin Solar Investments (ASI) and its 77 MW Italian photovoltaic portfolio. This major first investment enabled Quercus to deliver an extraordinary dividend higher than the annual dividend target set by our investment manifesto.

The funds also benefit from the experience of Vito Gamberale, Quercus’ Chairman, and founder of F2i, the largest Infrastructure Fund in Europe. During his time at F2i, Mr. Gamberale generated an annual dividend yield of 6% and an IRR above 15%. Mr. Gamberale created infrastructure platforms in various fields, including one in renewable energy which became the second largest renewable platform in Italy.

The pan-European Quercus team is well connected and has strong international experience in renewable energy infrastructure, which enables it to directly source attractive investment opportunities over a range of technologies and geographies.

The firm currently operates from its offices in London and Milan with an international senior management team. This pan-European platform offers strong technical, financial and management skills, to enable Quercus to directly manage its assets and explore all possible forms of efficiency locally. Quercus plans to expand its office network internationally, with firm plans well underway.

About Quercus

Quercus Investment Partners Limited, based in London, is regulated by the FCA in the UK and provides consultancy services to Quercus Assets Selection Sarl, general partner of the SICAV-SIF Quercus Assets Selection SCA which is regulated by the CSSF in Luxembourg.

The objective of Quercus Assets Selection is to create a balanced portfolio of assets, diversified both technologically and geographically, which seek to protect against inflation and provide a low correlation with traditional financial markets and deliver stable and predictable cash flows over a long investment period. The Quercus team has significant experience in energy infrastructure, traditional and alternative investments. Quercus also has a well-developed network of highly-regarded external partners, enabling Quercus to benefit from breadth of expertise difficult to find in a single organisation

For further information please visit www.quercus-partners.com or contact:

Quercus

Farid Nouriev

Investor Relations

Tel: +44 20 7871 4535

E-mail: farid.nouriev@quercus-partners.com

Instinctif Partners, UK Media Enquiries

Mark Walter

George Yeomans
Тel:+44 (0)20 7457 2020

E-mail: Quercus@instinctif.com

Be Media, ITA Media Enquiries

Alberto Murer

M: +393346086216

E:  a.murer@bemedia.it

Daniele Occhi

M: +393467549834

E: d.occhi@bemedia.it

Quercus and Swiss Life Asset Managers announce the acquisition of two photovoltaic (PV) plants in Italy with a combined capacity of c. 7.3MW

London, Luxembourg: 22 July 2016: Quercus Assets Selection and Swiss Life Asset Managers announce the successful acquisition of two ground-mounted solar PV plants with a capacity of 6.5MW and 0.77MW respectively, located in the Molise Region, Italy.

The transaction was carried out and completed by Azienda Solare Italiana S.p.A (“ASI”), formerly known as Antin Solar Investments, which Quercus and Swiss Life Asset Managers acquired in April 2016 through a 50/50 joint venture. With these additions, ASI’s portfolio consists of eleven plants totalling 84.4 MW and a combined annual production of 140 GWh.
Umberto Tamburrino, CEO of ASI, comments: “As promised at closing of the acquisition by Quercus and Swiss Life Asset Managers, we continue to build our track record for acquiring top-quality PV plants. This latest transaction is a statement of intent that evidences our goal to become one of the leading consolidators within the fragmented Italian market.”
Diego Biasi, CEO and co-founder of Quercus, explains: “This acquisition proves our commitment and ability to execute our investment strategy through deals of varying magnitudes within an Italian market that continues to offer significant opportunities.”
Constantin Dogos, Board Member of ASI and Director in the infrastructure investments team of Swiss Life Asset Managers, comments: “With this add-on acquisition we are consistent with our investment strategy for ASI and we will support similar future opportunities.”
ASI was advised by Hogan Lovells on legal matters, by EOS on technical matters and by Deloitte on tax matters. The Vendor’s legal advisor was Gattai, Minoli, Agostinelli, Partners.

Quercus announces successful financing of three UK solar PV assets with Santander UK

London, Luxembourg: Quercus Assets Selection announces the successful portfolio debt financing of three solar photovoltaic plants: Sidlesham, Burton and Stanton. Santander UK provided £13.6m of portfolio level debt over a 10-year tenor.

The transaction places all three plants under the ownership of Quercus Renewable Holding 2, a Quercus-owned holding company. This deal marks an important landmark in Quercus’ ongoing consolidation strategy, which aims at driving returns through a meticulous process of financial and operational optimization rooted in the Company’s ability to capitalize on its economies of scale.

The three plants of Sidlesham, Stanton, and Burton have a combined capacity of 21.3 MW and are located in Chichester, Swindon, and Stratford-upon-Avon, respectively. They were all connected in May 2015 and accredited under Ofgem’s Renewable Obligation scheme, valid for 20 years. Their combined annual production amounts to 21 GWh of electricity, which is enough to power nearly 5’000 homes and save up to 9’160 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

Diego Biasi, CEO and Co-Founder of Quercus, commented:

“We remain constantly focused on delivering clean energy to the UK customer through our local renewable energy plants. We are very happy to partner with Santander and to have negotiated a vital and mutually beneficial deal to optimize our investors’ returns on these three plants.”

Mark Cumbo, Director – Infrastructure & Renewable Energy, Santander UK, said of the deal: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to support the Quercus management team throughout this process and to deliver a bespoke funding package that ultimately helps support their investor group return.  We look forward to building on this success and partnering with Quercus on future opportunities.”

Other counterparts to the financing were Osborne Clarke LLP acting as the Lender’s legal adviser and Norton Rose Fulbright LLP acting as Quercus’ legal adviser.

Quercus and Swiss Life Asset Managers complete acquisition of Antin Solar Investments and its 77.1 MW solar photovoltaic asset portfolio

 

London, Luxembourg: Quercus Assets Selection and Swiss Life Asset Managers announce the successful completion of the deal to acquire Antin Solar Investments (“ASI”) in a 50:50 joint venture. ASI now operates as Azienda Solare Italiana Spa. On 18 December 2015 the joint venture, called Quercus Swiss Life Italian Solar Srl, had entered into a binding agreement with Antin Infrastructure Partners to acquire a 100% stake in ASI.

Founded in 2011, ASI has become a leading photovoltaic (“PV”) investment platform in Italy. The portfolio today consists of nine plants with a total installed capacity of 77.1 MW, and is the fifth largest operator in Italy in terms of solar power generation. ASI’s facilities are located in Lazio, Sicily and Puglia, which are among the regions with the highest irradiation in Europe.

This deal represents an important landmark for both firms engaged in the joint venture. Quercus’ total European portfolio now exceeds 266 MW, and the combination of the Italian assets of Quercus and ASI represents the third largest photovoltaic operator in Italy in terms of installed capacity. Moreover, this deal increases the European presence of Swiss Life Asset Managers’ first managed fund while diversifying its renewable portfolio currently comprised of solar assets in Canada and wind farms in the US and the UK.

Diego Biasi, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Quercus said: “We are very proud to have partnered with a valuable operator like Swiss Life Asset Managers on this landmark deal for Quercus. Azienda Solare Italiana is one of the best portfolios on the Italian market, and it provides a major platform from which we can capture further growth opportunities in a highly fragmented Italian market.”

Chris Manser, Head of Infrastructure Investments at Swiss Life Asset Managers comments: “The acquisition of ASI is an excellent addition to our global portfolio of infrastructure assets and provides us with a platform to capture the consolidation opportunity in the Italian PV market. Given Swiss Life Asset Managers’ strategy of minority investments we are very happy to have found in Quercus a likeminded partner to share this deal on a 50:50 basis.”

Umberto Tamburrino, CEO of Azienda Solare Italiana, commented: “We are delighted to have two new partners who share our vision for the future of renewable energy and are very committed to making ASI one of the reference operators in the process of consolidation in the Italian market.”

 

Quercus officially launches new renewable energy infrastructure funds

Quercus announces the launch of the Quercus Italian PV fund and the Quercus Italian Wind funds that will complement the recently launched Quercus European Renewables fund to raise a combined EUR 500 million.

Quercus Assets Selection, which specializes in infrastructure investments with a focus on renewable energy, announces that it has officially launched two new renewable energy infrastructure funds, bringing the total number of funds in its portfolio to five.

 

The new funds will have a long-term investment horizon of a minimum of 10 years and a targeted Internal Rate of Return (IRR) per annum of 8-10%, rising to 9-11% in the case of Quercus Italian Wind fund.

Investment in renewable infrastructure provides stable, long-term returns with a low risk profile that generates sustainable and predictable cash flows de-correlated from the fluctuations of financial markets. The funds therefore represent an ideal investment for long-term institutional investors, whose investment style is characterized by risk aversion and the need for capital protection.

The three new Quercus funds facilitate participation in an attractive renewable energy marketplace that continues to offer significant investment opportunities. It is estimated that the proportion of global electricity generated from renewable sources will double in the next 25 years, reaching 46% of all electricity produced worldwide in 2040 compared to 23% today.

In this global scenario, the Italian market is particularly attractive, given its stable policy with regard to incentives and its focus on renewable sources which are given grid priority. The Italian market is the fourth largest in the world for installed PV capacity (18.3 GW) and 9th for wind power (8.7 GW). The high degree of asset fragmentation in this large market presents significant opportunities for consolidation for players capable of financing, sourcing and executing on such opportunities.

Diego Biasi, co-founder and CEO of Quercus commented: “We look forward to further building on our established track record through the launch of these two new fundsIn addition to generating attractive returns that are unaffected by the fluctuations of financial markets, these projects provide capital protection as well as stable, long-term cash flows.

“Quercus funds are therefore an ideal investment for pension funds, foundations, banks, and qualified investors. Our knowledge of the market and track record means that we can rapidly source and identify the best opportunities in order to optimize the asset allocation of the portfolio.”

Quercus successful in competitive bid to acquire Antin Solar Investments and its 77.1 MW solar photovoltaic asset portfolio

London, Luxembourg: As part of a competitive bidding process, Quercus Assets Selection has successfully bid for Antin Solar Investments (“ASI” or “the Company”) and its Italian photovoltaic (“PV”) portfolio (“the Portfolio”), headed by the French infrastructure fund Antin Infrastructure Partners.

The bidding, which was conducted by a 50:50 consortium consisting of Quercus Assets Selection and Swiss Life Asset Managers (“the Consortium”), increases Quercus’ renewable energy portfolio to 266.5 MW. Established in 2011, the ASI portfolio consists of nine plants with a total capacity of 77.1 MW, and the Company is the fifth largest operator in Italy in terms of solar power generation. The plants are located in Lazio, Sicily and Puglia, all of which are among the most irradiant regions in Europe.

The Portfolio, which has an enterprise value of 310 million euros, will be acquired through a new vehicle called Quercus Swiss Life Italian Solar srl. The Consortium’s decision to acquire the Portfolio reflects the high quality nature of the assets, and follows an evaluation of ASI’s proven ability to deliver robust returns for its shareholders.

Diego Biasi, co-founder and CEO of Quercus commented: “We are very proud to have emerged as the winning bidder in the highly competitive tender process for ASI, one of the best platforms available in the Italian market”.

 Biasi added: The acquisition of ASI is a strong signal of intent from Quercus and it cements our position as one of the top PV players in Italy. The deal provides an excellent platform to capture additional growth opportunities as the PV market in Italy continues to consolidate. Italy has a very stable incentive policy and a focus on renewable sources that provide renewables with grid priority. It is therefore a very attractive market and Quercus will actively seek to further its involvement in the Italian market with equally ambitious deals that will also involve the wind sector.

Chris Manser, Head of Infrastructure Investments at Swiss Life Asset Managers commented: “The acquisition of ASI is an excellent addition to our global portfolio of infrastructure assets and provides us with a platform to capture the consolidation opportunity in the Italian PV market. Given Swiss Life Asset Managers’ strategy of minority investments we are very happy to have found in Quercus a likeminded partner to share this deal on a 50/50 basis.

 Umberto Tamburrino, CEO of ASI commented: “Quercus’ diversified geographical presence in other European PV markets (e.g. UK and Eastern Europe), will perfectly complement ASI’s strong Italian footprint, and combined, we expect to emerge as a leading player in the European renewables market”

The transaction is expected to complete during the first quarter of 2016.

In addition to utilizing capital provided by investors and partners, the deal was also financed through a credit line provided by UBI, with Studio Borghesi and Associates acting as Quercus’ financial advisor.

Ashurst acted as consortium’s legal advisors.

Quercus Board approves launch of new renewable energy infrastructure funds

The planned launch of Quercus Italian PV fund and the Quercus Italian Wind fund will complement the recently launched Quercus European Renewables fund to raise a combined EUR 500 million, providing significant investment opportunities in a strong renewables market.

London, Luxembourg – Quercus Assets Selection, which specializes in infrastructure investments with a focus on renewable energy, announces that it will launch two new renewable energy infrastructure funds, bringing the total number of funds in its portfolio to five.

The launch of the two new funds will complement the recently launched Quercus European Renewables fund to maximize the portfolio’s risk/return profile through a meticulous strategy of diversification.

Quercus is looking to raise a minimum combined target of €500 million across the three funds, which is to be invested in connected wind and solar plants in Italy, as well as in other renewable technologies throughout Europe.

Vito Gamberale, Chairman of Quercus commented:  “Today, Italian renewables play a key role that I define with 3Ps: Predominant, Prevalent and Preferential. The Italian market remains extremely fragmented and presents significant opportunity for consolidation. Quercus is looking to capitalize on this opportunity to become a medium to large-scale operator of renewable energy plants in Italy. Our strategy is clear, our goals are achievable and I look forward to contributing to the success of our new funds at Quercus.

Vito Gamberale appointed as Chairman of Quercus Assets Selection

Provides major boost to Quercus’ international expansion in infrastructure and renewable energy investment

London, Luxembourg – Vito Gamberale, one of Italy’s leading business managers and infrastructure experts, has been appointed Chairman of Quercus Assets Selection, an asset management company focused on infrastructure investments in renewable energy.

Quercus, led by CEO Diego Biasi, specialises in utility-scale renewable energy infrastructure investing in solar photovoltaic, wind and CHP projects in Italy, the UK and across Europe. It launched its most recent fund focused on Italian wind farms in June of this year targeting total investments of €150 million and with the intention of building a portfolio of assets generating 300MW.

The appointment of Vito Gamberale, given his extensive managerial experience and expertise in the infrastructure sector, is expected to provide Quercus with a strong boost to its expansion plans in renewable energy and broader infrastructure investment.

“I am particularly proud that a senior businessman and manager of the calibre of Vito Gamberale has chosen to back Quercus and its investment plans over the coming years”, said Diego Biasi, co-founder and CEO of Quercus. “We believe we have an exciting platform to become an international leader in renewables and infrastructure investment, and Mr. Gamberale’s endorsement says a lot about our strategy and execution capability. With his support we hope that we can achieve the ambitious goals we have set ourselves.”

Vito Gamberale added: “I am delighted to be contributing my experience in infrastructure to Quercus and to projects of such environmental and industrial importance”.

Quercus completes construction and grid connection of three photovoltaic solar power plants in the UK

Grid connection sees Quercus’ total UK grid contribution of PV solar plants increase to more than 65 MW

London, Luxembourg – Quercus Assets Selection which specialises in infrastructure investments with a focus on renewable energy, announces that it has completed construction and connection of three additional UK PV solar plants, in Stratford Upon Avon, in Swindon and in Sidlesham, Chichester to the UK power grid.

Quercus completed the acquisition of the three greenfield projects in December 2014, and having constructed the plants, the Company connected the third plant on March 27th. Together, the three plants are contributing a combined peak power capacity of 20.4 MW to the UK power grid. The plants generate sufficient power to supply nearly 4,000 homes per year and are expected to offset more than 9,160 tons of annual carbon-dioxide emissions.

The first of the three power plants, which were all commissioned in March, is at Burton Solar Farm near Stratford Upon Avon and generates peak power of 4.4 MW. The second plant is Stanton Solar Farm, located in Stanton Fitzwarren, Swindon generating peak power of 5 MW. The third plant, connected last week, is at Sidlesham near Chichester and generates 11MW of power.

Diego Biasi, co-founder of Quercus commented: “Quercus is a leading investor in utility scale renewable energy plants and these additional plants take our participation in the UK PV market to more than 65 MW. Quercus entered the UK solar energy industry in November 2013 and we are delighted to increase our participation in the market, where assets are highly coveted by our investors due to their ability to generate attractive long term returns thanks to a very stable market and regulatory backdrop. We are developing our existing pipeline of PV projects in the UK, to increase our participation in this attractive market.”

Quercus Asset Selection acquires a 14MW photovoltaic project in Cornwall

The transaction, implemented through the Quercus Renewable Energy Fund II, marks the official entry to the UK photovoltaic market for Quercus.

The Quercus Renewable Energy Fund II, a segment of Quercus Assets Selection, a company which specialises in infrastructure investments with a focus on renewable energies, has completed the acquisition of a 14MW photovoltaic project in Cornwall, which is expected to be connected to the national grid by the end of March 2014.

After the successful biomass investment with the UK Green Investment Bank in the anaerobic digestion plant in London concluded recently, Quercus begins its official entry into the competitive UK photovoltaic market, in which the company expects to be highly active for at least in the next 18 months, the period defined for the incentive structure. Quercus is currently carrying out due diligence for a photovoltaic project pipeline totalling around 150 MW in the United Kingdom, which constitutes the first part of an overall portfolio estimating growth to 300 MW by the end of March 2015.

Despite a climate that differs from Southern Europe, Great Britain offers interesting investment opportunities, supported first and foremost by a stable and highly efficient market and a particularly low country risk. This allows an easy understanding of the exceptionally simplified regulatory system and a predictable evolution of the incentives structure, essential ingredients for optimising investment planning. All of this is accompanied by, among other things, relatively low banking rates, a good incentive structure for the investor and highly competitive procurement costs for goods and services, also due to the adjustment of supply to sector dynamics.

Diego Biasi, Managing Partner of Quercus said: “the fund is pursuing its investment activity in Europe in line with the initial plan communicated to investors. Investments in the United Kingdom began this year as soon as the local incentives policy was defined by the Government. The UK photovoltaic industry is more than ever a representative asset of the portfolio coveted by our investors due to the high stability of long-term returns, non-correlation to the financial and real estate markets, the ability to maintain a generally steady cash flow during the investment, essential elements for pension funds, banking foundations, insurance companies and other institutional investors who constitute almost our entire investor base.”

Quercus Renewable Energy and ForVEI together in the acquisition of Calabria Solar’s photovoltaic plant

The plant of  24MW was sold by  Talesun Solared and  is one of the ten largest solar plants in Italy

Quercus Renewable Energy Fund, compartment of Quercus Assets Selection, a company specializing in infrastructure investments with a focus in renewable energy, has completed through the ForVEI Joint Venture, the acquisition of the 24MW photovoltaic plant, `Calabria Solar`  from Talesun Solar Switzerland AG (“Talesun”), a Swiss subsidiary of Zonghli Talesun Solar Co Ltd, the leading Chinese solar panel manufacturer. Calabria Solar is one of the ten largest solar plants in Italy and the operation’s value amounts to € 52,5 million.

ForVEI is a joint venture comprising Quercus Renewable Energy, VEI Capital, CDC Infrastructure, Foresight Solar VCT and Adenium Solar Energy. ForVEI operates in the Private Equity as well as in the infrastructure and energy sectors.

Despite the continuing economic challenges across Europe in the past 24 months (2011-2012), Italy has continued to be one of the most effective markets in the world in solar energy with an additional 13GW of PV Plants connected to the grid according to the GSE, ( Italian Power Controller). This is equal to the amount of PV energy connected in Germany over the same period. Italy now has a total of 17GW of installed PV power making it the second largest country for installed capacity worldwide.

This acquisition follows ForVEI’s innovative lease-back financing acquisition of the OPDE portfolio in 2011, which at that time represented the largest lease financing of PV plants arranged by a single bank in Italy.

Diego Biasi, Managing Partner of Quercus: “We are very satisfied at completing this significant acquisition, which permitted us to acquire one of the largest Italian photovoltaic plants and added important value to ForVEI’s portfolio for a future potential exit from the investment”.

Federico Giannandrea, director of ForVEI adds: “We are very satisfied at completing the significant acquisition of Calabria Solar to enhance ForVEI’s portfolio of Solar PV Assets. Thanks to this operation, ForVEI now handles a portfolio of over 54MW with a medium average annual return in the teens. The successful completion of the acquisition demonstrates that there remains interest for lenders in quality projects sponsored by high level investors, despite continuing pressure on markets”.

Quercus Assets Selection: Liquidated 90% of its photovoltaic plant investment, Marsolar Srl, to the Star One Fund of Polis Fondi Sgr

The operation, in line with the strategy of Quercus Renewable Energy Fund, aimed to release equity to take advantage of further business opportunities.

Quercus Assets Selection (Quercus), a company specializing in infrastructure investments with a focus in renewable energy, announces the 90% liquidation of the photovoltaic plant  ‘Marsolar Srl’ to Polis Fondi Sgr (Polis) for a value of € 6.570.000. The 7.8MW photovoltaic plant situated in Borgo Faiti (Latina, Italy) is sold by Quercus Renewable Energy (QRE), the first compartment of the Luxembourg Quercus SICAV-SIF approved by the CSSF. The compartment, launched in 2010, is dedicated to the selection of the best investment opportunities within the Italian photovoltaic energy sector. The plant, connected in August 2011, has produced more energy than forecasted in the original business plan (circa +6.5% MWh in 2012), providing a significant contribution to the positive results obtained by QRE fund. It is estimated that in 2012, Marsolar had met the electricity needs of circa 4,000 inhabitants while saving over 10,000 tons of CO2. The sale is in line with the strategy of the Fund.

Simone Borla, Managing Partner of Quercus: “This operation is proof of our capabilities to create value despite this difficult financial market period. It proves the solidity of this type of investment and is the reason why institutional investors are increasing their attention in the renewable energy investment sector. These assets offer apositive cash flow and typically, a lower risk than the sovereign of the countries where the plants are located. This peculiarity makes these assets more profitable than government securities and therefore an important resource for pension funds, insurance companies and endowments’ portfolio asset allocation.”

Quercus: New UK investment in photovoltaic projects

After the investment in a 14MWs photovoltaic project in Cornwall, Quercus continues to strengthen its presence in the UK market.

Quercus Assets Selection, a company which specialises in infrastructure investments with a focus on renewable energy, announces a new deal with Progressum – an engineering firm based in London specialising in UK photovoltaic – to acquire an important pipeline of projects to be constructed during 2014.

The construction of the photovoltaic plants will be assigned to Bester Generacion, who has collaborated with Quercus for the preceding few years in various countries in constructing photovoltaic and wind projects. The plants, once built, will form part of Quercus Renewable Energy Fund II, one of the funds managed by Quercus Assets Selection. Diego Biasi, Founding Partner of Quercus, has commented on this acquisition by saying, ”With this further investment in UK photovoltaic projects, we underline our strong interest in the market. We also might provide our current and prospective investors, European and other, who are interested in taking exposure to the UK market, one of the most coveted for investments in renewable energy, with an opportunity for bespoke solutions due to the prospective and stabilised nature that this market will offer now and in the long run”.

Quercus management completes the buyout of shares held by Finpiave SpA

The “Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier” (CSSF), the Luxembourg supervisory authority, has recently given the green light to the management buyout of Quercus Assets Selection (Quercus). The deal, which was recently agreed and formalized, consists of the repurchase of 60% the shares in Quercus, which are now held by the holding company Finpiave Spa, a shareholder of Stefanel Group listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. The deal will therefore recompose 100% of the control of Quercus into the hands of the founding partners, making Simone Borla and Diego Biasi joint shareholders in Quercus, with 50% each. Giuseppe Stefanel, who provided the initial seed capital for the launch of the funds, will remain a major investor in the Quercus funds. The management company, founded in 2011 on the initiative of the three partners, has successfully raised capital from institutional investors such as insurance companies, Italian banks, foreign banks and pension funds, which has allowed it to launch two closed-end funds focused on investing in renewable energy infrastructure, the core business of the company. Diego Biasi and Simone Borla, joint partners of Quercus Assets Selection SCA SICAV-SIF, said: “We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to receive the assistance of Finpiave SpA during the launch of the company: our partnership has enabled us to achieve excellent results. This has allowed us to benefit from the experience and strength of an industrial group with an undisputed track record.” Federico Franzina, who acted as a manager on behalf of Finpiave will be replaced by Marco Claus, (Director General of FIA Asset Management S.A.) who has extensive experience with both Banca Sella Group, as head of the Luxembourg branch, and Banco Desio.

Quercus and Polis Fondi SGR together in Star One Fund, focused on generating income through photovoltaic power plants

London – Quercus Assets Selection SICAV-SIF SCA (Quercus) announces its participation in the real estate fund reserved for institutional investors “Star One”, an investment vehicle promoted and managed by Polis Fondi SGR (Polis). The fund is characterized by an investment policy focused on investing exclusively in operative and grid connected photovoltaic plants that provide stable and predictable cash flows, along with a possible further upside driven by a refinancing during the life of the plant and / or early exit. The Target Return (IRR) of the fund is circa 13%.

The Fund, which completed the first closing on the 8th of August, has already made its first investment by acquiring a plant of 5MW owned by Quercus located in Spinazzola (BAT). The target size of the Fund’s portfolio is about 50 MW, possibly increased up to 100MW. In order to achieve the rapid execution of the aforementioned objectives, Quercus and Polis have also agreed the option to purchase additional power plants of approximately 8MW output.

Simone Borla, Managing Partner of Quercus stated: “We are delighted to have made this first important deal that represents a very important strategic step to Quercus, allowing us to improve the performance of the Spinazzola plant, while at the same time freeing equity and paving the way for future operations which will create, with the help of other institutional investors, a portfolio of scalable size.”

Paolo Berlanda, Managing Director of Polis added: “The solar PV market still provides many attractive investment opportunities, largely fuelled by the sales of developers and private equity funds who had previously invested; the purchase of connected power plants greatly reduces the risk related to changes in the system of incentives. Star One, offering an attractive return profile over the medium to long term, is a product that provides high target returns with contained risk levels. ”

For the selection of the fund’s investments and structuring of its operations Polis will co-operate with Cassiopea Partners. Stefano Trentino, founder and CEO of Cassiopea Partners, commented: “This transaction will enable Polis to create a platform of great appeal to Italian institutional investors whose purpose is to obtain an average return of more than 13% per year through the acquisition of an already identified pipeline of connected power plants available on the secondary. market.”

Quercus invests £2m in TEG Group project to construct a new organic waste processing facility in Dagenham

London – Quercus Assets Selection (Quercus) is delighted to announce that Quercus Renewable Energy Fund II has committed £2 million into a newly formed Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), TEG Biogas (London) Limited, to allow for the construction and operation of a new 50,000 tonnes per annum food and green waste processing plant.

The £21m plant is to be constructed by The TEG Group Plc (TEG), the organic waste specialists, on a 4.7 acre site on the Mayor of London’s 60 acre London Sustainable Industries Park (LSIP). The Mayor has committed over £10m for infrastructure development on this site, which the TEG scheme will be the first to benefit from.

Quercus Assets Selection has provided £2m and matched this on pari passu terms with £2m investment from the Foresight managed UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments Fund on behalf of UK Green Investments (UKGI). Foresight Environmental Fund (FEF) and the London Green Fund (LGF) alongside other UK Pension Funds, committed £9 million to the project, to provide a total of £13m of equity. The LGF was launched in March 2011 by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson as part of London’s drive to encourage investment into waste and energy efficiency infrastructure to create economic growth and jobs.

Alongside the equity investment, senior debt of £4.4m is being provided with a £1.9 million investment by London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB). A further £3.5 million loan is to be provided by Investec.

This new state of the art processing plant will include the first joint Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant to be built within the M25, alongside an in-vessel composting (IVC) plant, and should be fully operational by the second half of 2013.
The Dagenham facility will be capable of processing 30,000 tonnes of source segregated food waste and 19,000 tonnes of mixed food and green waste every year. This will be the first AD plant in central London and will generate approximately 1.4MW of electricity, sufficient to power approximately 2,000 homes. It will also produce 36,000 tonnes per annum in AD digestate and 14,000 tonne per annum of compost for agricultural use.

Diego Biasi, Partner at Quercus Assets Selection SCA SICAV-SIF, stated: “Quercus is delighted to have reached an agreement to invest alongside the UK government represented by UKGI and to have closed this first deal effectively. We are confident that this will be the first of a series of successful investments together with UKGI.”

Simone Borla, Partner at Quercus Assets Selection SCA SICAV-SIF added: “We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Foresight and the UKGI to secure a sustainable, long term solution that will divert away some 38,000 tonnes of waste a year which would otherwise go to landfill. This flagship facility will not only create new jobs but will also reduce CO2 emissions by 75,000 tonnes per year, contributing to an ever ‘greener’ London for many years to come.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This £21million investment into Dagenham is fantastic news providing new employment opportunities. TEG is also the first to start building at our new industrial park, which I have committed £10million to transform from brownfield land into an attractive space for businesses. We want the London Sustainable Industries Park to become a magnet for energy and environmental enterprises to support hundreds of new jobs. ‘It is also good news that TEG becomes London’s first anaerobic digestion plant providing an innovative, environmentally friendly way to manage the city’s waste, helping to cut down on costly landfill. Through the London Green Fund and Foresight, my team has worked closely with TEG to secure the finance for this plant and we are set to support more facilities of this nature across the capital working with boroughs and the London Waste and Recycling Board.”

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said: “This project represents the first waste investment in the run up to the establishment of the UK Green Investment Bank and sends a clear message to the market and to potential co-investors that we are committed to investing in the UK‟s green infrastructure.

Nigel Aitchison, Partner at Foresight Group commented: “We have been working with TEG for several months on this project which will see 50,000 tonnes of organic waste matter from Greater London diverted from landfill every year, and will enable householders to have their organic waste put to good use. This investment is the second made by Foresight Environmental Fund, and the first made by UKGI and we are looking forward to making further investments, to drive both growth and job creation in this important sector in Greater London and across the UK in the near future”.

Michael Fishwick, CEO of TEG Group added: “One of the advantages of a combined AD and IVC plant is the front-end flexibility on feedstock enabling us to process a wide variety of waste streams including food waste only, green waste only or co-mingled organic waste. On top of this we will be generating renewable power that will feed into the national grid. We will be using our award winning IVC technology which is proven in the UK combined with best of breed European AD technology, manufactured in the UK. At TEG we are committed to making a significant contribution to London becoming a model European city for recycling”.

CDC Infrastructure (CDC) makes a €9 million commitment to ForVEI, the joint venture between Quercus and other partners

London – Quercus is pleased to announce that CDC Infrastructure (CDC) has taken a 24% stake in ForVEI, the joint venture between VEI Capital and Luxco 2 (which includes Quercus Assets Selection and the recently announced JV between Adenium and Foresight).

Agreement in principle has been signed and is now subject to approval of the transaction by the European Commission. It is expected that completion will take place in August 2012.

Following completion, the majority shareholder will remain VEI Capital with 52%, while CDC Infrastructure and Luxco 2 will retain a 24% stake each; the total equity committed in ForVEI by the various shareholders now stands at €37 million.
Simone Borla, Managing Partner at Quercus, declared: “We are very pleased that CDC Infrastructure joined us in this rapidly growing joint-venture. This will give us additional ammunitions to further grow our portfolio of PV plants”.
The current portfolio of ForVEI comprises solar generation assets for a total installed power capacity of c. 30 MW in aggregate; the multishareholders vehicle, advised by Foresight Group, is now targeting 100MW of Solar PV assets in Italy, and this development is a significant step in progressing towards this ambition.

Diego Biasi, co-founder and Managing Partner of Quercus added: “This investment by CDC is a proof that we are creating an asset whose value is appreciated by the market”.

ForVEI recently signed a sale and purchase agreement for the acquisition of additional 8MW in the Lazio Region from Aleph Solaria; the closing of this acquisition, which remain subject to certain conditions precedent – including bank waivers, is expected to take place by the end July 2012.

ForVEI joint venture acquires a portfolio of OPDE PV plants for €88 million

London – ForVEI, the multishareholder vehicle, has completed the acquisition of a portfolio of OPDE (one of the main Spanish contractors) PV plants for an installed power of 8MW and an enterprise value of €33 million. Foresight Group advised on the transaction and acted as originator, structurer, arranger and manager.

ForVEI is a joint venture comprising VEI Capital, Foresight Solar VCT and Quercus Renewable Energy, which is backed by primary investors including Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G), Intesa Sanpaolo, Palladio Finanziaria SpA, Veneto Banca SpA and Banca Popolare di Vicenza Scrl. The acquisition was supported by a lease back financing of €33 million (45 million USD) which has increased the entire ForVei/OPDE PV Plants enterprise value to over €88 million (120 million USD). This acquisition follows the acquisition of the initial three OPDE PV plants for an enterprise value of €55 million announced in September. Together they represent the largest lease financing of PV plants arranged by a single bank in Italy. Two Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP) Group leasing companies own the PV plants for 18 years with ForVei paying a monthly rental fee. The two projects are expected to yield an annual equity return of 13% .

This year Italy has been one of the most effective markets in the world in solar energy with an additional 6.5GW of PV Plants connected to the grid according to the Italian Power Controller. This is three times the amount of PV energy connected in Germany over the same period. Italy now has a total of 10GW installed PV power.

Pietro Zerauschek, Foresight Group Managing Partner Italy and leader of the Italian Solar Team declared: “We are very satisfied at completing the acquisition of the entireOPDE PV plants portfolio. Thanks to this operation, ForVei now handles a portfolio of over 28MW with a medium average annual return of 13%. The completion of the acquisition demonstrates that there is still interest for lenders in quality projects sponsored by high level investors, despite continuing pressure on markets”.

Diego Biasi, Founder Partner and Portfolio Manager of Quercus added: “We are very pleased to increase our investment in ForVei. Our portfolio of PV plants in Italy is gaining institutional dimensions and we are prepared to continue with our strategic investment plans to close early additional relevant acquisitions both independently and through this joint venture”.

Simone Borla, Founder Partner of Quercus also commented: “the ForVei partnership is extremely effective and we believe that our second fund, Quercus Renewable Energy Fund II, which is currently fundraising among institutional partners, will benefit from the investment opportunities identified by Quercus and Foresight Group which can be financed via the relevant relationships with different banks that ForVei and its shareholders have consolidated through the activities accomplished in 2011”.

Quercus forms joint venture with Foresight Group to invest in the Italian renewable energy market

Luxembourg – Quercus Assets Selection Sarl, the Luxembourg based management company of the Quercus Renewable Energy Fund, a leading investor in the Italian photovoltaic market, has entered into a joint venture agreement with UK based Foresight Group to boost its investments in the sector. Quercus acquired a 50% stake in Foresights’s Luxembourg holding Foresight Lux Co 2, a company controlling 40% of ForVEI, a company set up by a group of investors with the advice of Foresight looking to acquire interests in Italian PV plants. The remaining 60 percent comes from VEI Capital, itself a venture between Palladio Finanziaria SpA, Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G), Intesa Sanpaolo, Veneto Banca SpA and Banca Popolare di Vicenza Scrl. Immediately after the closing of the transaction between Quercus and Foresight, the ForVEI venture acquired three Italian solar plants with total capacity of 13 megawatts from Spain’s OPDE Group. The 55 million-euro ($75 million) deal is the largest lease-financing arranged by a single bank for a solar deal in Italy. Two units of Milan-based Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP) will own the solar parks for 18 years while ForVEI pays a monthly lease and earns guaranteed above-market rates for the power generated. The three plants have expected returns of 12 percent to 15 percent. Italy has been the world’s most active solar market this year, connecting 6.5 gigawatts in solar photovoltaic projects, or three times more than Germany, to reach a total of 10 gigawatts, according to its renewable energy regulator, GSE. Even with the tariff cuts, Italy has one of the highest feed-in tariffs in Europe. Feed-in tariffs, or FITs, are guaranteed above-market prices paid for electricity from renewable sources. Under ForVEI’s agreement with OPDE, the venture might buy additional 20 megawatts of Italian solar farms developed by the Spanish company by the end of October. Pietro Zerauschek, partner of Foresight Group and Head of its Italian solar team said: “ We are extremely satisfied that an agreement was reached with Quercus thus allowing the venture to further increase its capacity to purchase first quality solar plants in the Italian market. Size matters and we are confident that with the help of Quercus’ first class investment team we will be able to identify and acquire additional attractive projects”. Quercus has also selected Foresight as its advisor in the acquisition and construction of Latina based8MW solar farm that was successfully connected to the grid on 31st August 2011. Diego Biasi, Founding Partner and Portfolio Manager declared: “We are excited to have entered into a joint venture agreement with Foresight to expand our portfolios of investments in Italy by accessing first quality projects offering attractive returns to our investors”. Simone Borla, Founding Partner, said that “the partnership with Foresight is a dramatic opportunity to enlarge the scope of our Private Equity investments beyond Italy to potentially include other opportunities like investments in the UK Biomass market”.

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