Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bank Hapoalim and Hudson Clean Energy to establish cleantech fund

Poalim Capital Markets, an investment bank and a subsidiary of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest financial group, said yesterday that it was setting up a fund with U.S.-based Hudson Clean Energy to invest in alternative energy companies.

The fund, called Poalim Hudson Clean Energy, will invest between $50 and $500 million per company in the United States, Europe, and other markets, according to reports from Reuters and Bloomberg.

Macquarie, Australia's largest investment bank, is also a founder of the fund.

Credit Suisse will invest $300 million in the fund, which will focus on investments in renewable energy, such as wind and solar as well as infrastructure and energy storage, Poalim said.

"The rate of annual growth in the clean energy sector has been above 25 percent the last five years and estimates are that it will continue to be high," Nir Brunstein, chief executive of Poalim Capital Markets, said in a statement.

Hapoalim Chairman Dani Dankner said the new venture will provide the bank's customers with interesting investment opportunities with potential for large profits.

Hudson was founded by Neil Auerbach, a former Goldman Sachs partner who led the firm's U.S. alternative energy business and managed more than $3 billion in assets.