Firm led by Tynagh founder loses €15m on sale of energy business
An investment company led by Tynagh Energy founder Bran Keogh has lost about €15 million on the sale of a California company to a larger rival.
Mr Keogh is executive director of Leaf Clean Energy Company, a London-listed investment vehicle registered in the Cayman Islands.
The firm floated on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2007 and has backed a number of alternative and green energy-focused businesses since then.
One of its investments, solar-energy-cell developer, California-based Miasolé has been sold to Chinese giant Hanergy for $30 million. According to its annual report, Leaf invested $21.5 million (€16.4 million) in the company in return for a minority holding.
The deal with Hanergy wiped out most Miasolé investors, who put a total of $500 million into the company in a number of fundraising rounds.
Some sources suggested that Leaf may have recovered about €1 million, or a little over it, from the sale. The company did not respond to a request for a comment yesterday so it was not possible to confirm this.
Leaf annual report
Hanergy bought the California-based company in October. Leaf’s annual report, which was published in November and covers the 12 months to June 30th, has no reference to the sale. It lists Miasolé as one of its investments and highlights a number of advances the company has made with the development of its brand of solar energy technology.
It also refers to the fact that the company recently recruited John Carrington as chief executive. Mr Carrington received a $3.6 million retention bonus as a result of the Hanergy deal, according to some reports.
Leaf has called its agm for December 27th in the Cayman Islands, at 4pm Irish time.
The annual report shows Mr Keogh earned $750,000 in fees and bonuses in the company’s last financial year.
Its figures show that total assets fell 20 per cent to $187 million on June 30th last, from $221 million 12 months earlier. Retained losses increased 30 per cent to $125 million.
The company has engaged in a number of share buy-back exercises. It issued 200 million shares at its flotation in June 2007. Total issued shares now stand at 129 million.
Through his business, Mountside Partners, Mr Keogh was one of the founders of Tynagh Energy, which owns a 400 megawatt gas-fired electricity plant in Tynagh, Co Galway.
The plant is now controlled by multinational General Electric, but Mountside retains a minority shareholding. Mr Keogh is still listed as a director of Tynagh. It was not possible to contact Mr Keogh for a comment yesterday.