Ambienta Plans 300 Million-Euro Fund for Energy-Saving Products

Ambienta SGR SpA, an investor in resource and energy efficiency, plans a 300 million-euro ($406 million) fund to tap demand for energy-saving natural-gas burners and generators as U.S. output of the fuel grows.

The Ambienta II fund will invest in European companies that could market their gas technologies abroad as well as those that curb water waste and control pollution, said Nino Tronchetti Provera, chief executive officer of the Milan-based firm.

Ambienta, like peers Wheb Group and Ludgate Investments Ltd., is seeking to benefit from growing use of energy-efficient products as burgeoning populations use up finite resources. The U.S. has become the biggest natural-gas producer after expanding shale drilling, boosting demand for gas-consuming products such as boilers and pumps that were first developed in Europe.

“The continent that has pioneered utilization of natural gas for applications such as automotives, heating and cooling, is Europe,” Tronchetti Provera said in an interview in London. “Given the Americas don’t have these technologies, it’s going to be a big area of potential growth for European companies.”

The fund is targeting 100 million euros by June in a first phase, and plans investments of about 20 million euros in each company. The businesses targeted by the earlier Ambienta I fund recorded an average 26 percent gain in sales last year and added 460 jobs in the past four years, Tronchetti Provera said.

“Companies are growing because what they have been doing for years is now enabling continents around the world to become as efficient as Europe has been,” he said.

As well as the energy-efficiency industry, Ambienta II will also study European companies that reduce water waste with pipe upgrades, recycling and filtration, and producers of electronics equipment such as adaptors, inverters and transformers, he said.