The Monthly: February 2024

06 Feb 2024 / Corporate research

Feature article:

2023 was an annus horribilis for Quoted UK Infrastructure and Renewable Energy

Consolidation is the new mantra

The focus of Hardman & Co Research is on the nine quoted Infrastructure Investment Companies (IICs) and on the 22 Renewable Energy Infrastructure Funds (REIFs): the stocks analysed are all members of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC). We are updating our publication of January 2023, assessing both the lacklustre share price performances during 2023 and the key issues, including interest rates, inflation and power prices.

As a 31-strong group, its combined market capitalisation is now £26.2bn (the valuation of the suspended Asian Energy Impact – formerly ThomasLloyd Energy Impact – is assumed as being zero). During 2023, all members of the group have seen their share prices drop. The most pronounced falls have occurred in the shares of the less mature funds, which lack the revenue base to underpin their former ratings. While the FTSE-100 rose by just over 2% during 2023, shares – on an unweighted basis – of the most valuable 10 funds fell by ca.11%.

During both 2022 and 2023, no IIC/REIF IPOs were undertaken; in 2021, there were nine such IPOs. For a combined sector that has raised ca.£10.3bn of new funds since 2020, the 2023 fundraising levels were paltry. To be sure, 3i Infrastructure raised £102m (gross) and Gresham House Energy Storage raised £50m (gross), but there were no other major sector offerings. Instead, consolidation, not expansion, became the new sector mantra.

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