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QuotedData’s morning briefing 22 November 2021

In QuotedData’s morning briefing 22 November 2021:

  • Aquila European Renewables Income (AERI) has achieved a four out of a five-star rating following its GRESB assessment, an investor-driven global ESG benchmark and reporting framework to help evaluate complex sustainability issues. With an overall GRESB Score of 84, the fund scores above the GRESB average of 77 points. The rating showed a particularly strong performance in Stakeholder Engagement and Leadership compared to the peer group. At asset level, the rating recognised AERI’s strong policy frameworks as well as its performance in resource and emission management including water, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy.
  • SDCL Energy Efficiency (SEIT) has invested approximately $21m in an operational portfolio of LED lighting projects across 42 states in the US, together with a 50% interest in Future Energy Solutions Lighting Holdings, the business that developed the projects. The investment incorporates a shareholder loan, with a priority entitlement to cash flows from the business, ahead of equity distributions, until the loan principal has been repaid. The investment aligns well with SEIT’s investment policy, given its strong energy efficiency characteristics, while adding further diversification to its portfolio. The investment is funded from the company’s existing resources and supports its guidance on total returns target as well as its stated progressive dividend policy.
  • Seed Innovations (SEED) has invested a further €450,000 in Fralis LLC, trading as Leap Gaming, an Israel based B2B developer of high-end 3D gaming applications. The investment, funded from existing company cash resources, is by way of an extension to the existing €1m 1% Convertible Loan Note as part of a funding round by Leap to raise up to a further €1.2m. The investment takes the total amount invested by SEED in Leap convertible loan notes to €741,641 (c.£630,000).  The company also holds 47.06% of the total equity of Leap (on an un-diluted basis). The CLN will automatically convert as follows: (i) Immediately prior to an equity financing (of more than €1m) or liquidity event of Leap at the lower of a 25% discount to the lowest issue price per share at that event or a pre-money valuation of €15m (in line with the previous convertible loans since June 2020, of which this investment forms a part); or (ii) At maturity (31 December 2022) at the price per share of the last equity financing round of Leap. This CLN will not qualify as a qualifying fundraise under the terms of the Company’s previous convertible loan investment in February 2021.
  • Edinburgh Investment Trust (EDIN) has published its half-year report for the six months to 30 September 2021, during which times its NAV total return was up by 9.8% and its share price was up by 4.4%. This compares with an 8% return for its benchmark. While growth in NAV has been encouraging, over the last six months the discount has widened. James De Uphaugh, the manager, said: “There are several compelling reasons to think that the UK equity market can generate further attractive returns on a medium-term view. The gains we are reporting on for the last six months were despite a combination of tempering growth rates here and abroad, ongoing supply bottlenecks, and rising energy prices. There is no question pricing pressures are more prevalent now than in other inflationary spikes over the last decade, but we take reassurance from the fact that the portfolio is dominated by companies that have pricing power and strategic strength that we believe will afford greater protection against cost inflation.”
  • Augmentum Fintech (AUGM) has posted its half-year results for the six months to 30 September 2021. During the period, the trust delivered an NAV return of 9% (after performance fee) and enjoyed an oversubscribed fundraise in July which saw gross proceeds of £55m raised. AUGM’s chairman said: “As we continue to adapt to this changing world, the opportunity for fintech businesses remains considerable. It is inevitable that all financial institutions, whether incumbent or new, will be touched by technological developments. The Company is well positioned to capitalise on this, as the UK’s only listed specialist fintech fund. We offer access to some of Europe’s most exciting fintech businesses and our recent successful fundraise has allowed us to continue to grow our portfolio.”
  • Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust (SLI) has received full payment of rent arrears from a tenant that it says “had every ability to pay but had chosen not to” throughout the pandemic, after taking legal action, amounting to £625,850. The group also announced it had completed two new leases (one to a government agency in Dover on a 10-year lease securing an annual rent of just over £600,000 – 25% higher than the previous rent on the building and a 5,700 sq ft suite at its Hagley Road office in Birmingham at around £20 per sq ft). Two rent reviews have also been completed,  the first on a logistics unit in Bristol showing a 12% increase compared to the previous rent, and the second on an office, also in Bristol, securing a 30% increase in rent. Combined, the two give the company £95,710 per annum in additional rent.

We also have news of a proposed fund raise by Grit Real Estate and the acquisition of a portfolio by Schroder REIT.

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