Corran Capital raises new £80 million fund and acquires stake in UK’s leading heat infrastructure business

06/03/2024

Specialist clean energy private equity firm, Corran Capital, has acquired a 30% stake in Vital Energi, the UK’s leading heat infrastructure company, to help accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero.

The investment will enable Vital Energi to rapidly scale as an owner and operator of low-carbon heat networks. The company is also targeting new markets, moving at pace into adjacent technologies including solar, battery and heat storage, and electric vehicle charging.  

The transaction comes as new government zoning regulations are introduced requiring new and existing buildings and developments to connect to low-carbon heat networks where available. This is expected to drive significant private investment into the sector.

With a 30 year track record and 700 employees, Vital Energi is already the UK’s market leader in developing and delivering heat networks. Based in Blackburn and with offices in London, Glasgow, Hereford and Burton-on-Trent, the company has connected over 100,000 homes to heat network schemes, including in Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull and London, working with local authorities and housing associations to tackle fuel poverty.  

Corran will work closely with Vital Energi management to help deploy further institutional capital to accelerate the delivery of low-carbon generation, infrastructure and energy efficiency solutions across the UK in private and public sector properties.

Backers of the deal include major institutional investors like Strathclyde Pension Fund and Lexington Partners, representing over $30 billion in assets globally. Through their commitment to Corran, they will help provide the institutional capital to accelerate Vital’s leadership position and the deployment of further renewable heat projects, playing a part in ensuring the UK achieves its long-term climate goals. 

Gary Fielding, Founder and Chairman of Vital Energi, said:

“This investment will enable Vital Energi to play an even greater role in tackling climate change while delivering affordable energy for homeowners and building occupiers. We want to build on our existing client relationships and develop new low carbon infrastructure projects to scale-up the pace of decarbonisation and provide more green jobs for the future.”

Gary Le Sueur at Corran Capital said: 

“We are excited to partner with the Vital Energi team to capture the significant growth opportunities in renewable heat and accelerate the broader energy transition. It is a long term journey and will require substantial amounts of capital – both private and public sector – over the next 50 years.  Vital Energi is in pole position with its expertise and skills to play a critical role in delivering important renewable heat and energy efficiency solutions for its customers across the UK.”

Corran has appointed Lucy Graham as a partner to support Vital Energi and its investment and expansion plans. Graham was formerly with private equity group Cairngorm Capital and in leverage finance with Virgin Money. She will work with Vital’s management on new opportunities and to deliver the capital required to accelerate the deployment of renewable heat projects. Corran plans to make additional appointments to the Corran team in the next year to strengthen its support to Vital Energi further.

Corran has already backed Renewco Power, a solar, wind and battery storage company formed by the firm in 2021 with the backing of SSE plc, the FTSE 100 clean energy company that committed £48 million to Corran’s first fund.  Renewco Power, based in Glasgow and now with 38 employees, has developed a pipeline of renewable power project opportunities across the UK, Spain, Italy and the US.

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