Finding a niche in private energy tech companies: EnerTech closes fourth fund

| | Last Updated: 13/09/11 5:18 PM ET
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Through four funds, EnerTech has raised about $500-million and has invested in 62 companies, all of which are private.
Through four funds, EnerTech has raised about $500-million and has invested in 62 companies, all of which are private.

Given that he has just closed his second energy technology fund with $120-million in the kitty, chances are that Wally Hunter, managing director of EnerTech Capital doesn’t ask “what would have happened had I stayed with my old job.”

In 2004 Hunter, then a managing director at RBC Capital Market’s private equity group, chose a different path, he joined a private equity fund that had been established eight years earlier by Scott Ungerer, a U.S.-based utility executive. Hunter knew Ungerer because both had invested in some of the same companies.

Ungerer wanted Hunter to Canadianize EnerTech and bring Canadian investments into a fund that would invest in early to growth stage companies that offer products or services that dramatically improve the profitability of producing or consuming energy. “Our focus is from the well head to the wall socket,” said Hunter.

Once Hunter set up the Canadian arm, the first order of business was to launch a fund : in time $88-million was raised, about 30% of which was invested in Canadian companies. When that fund was almost spent another fund was raised of which 40%-45% is earmarked for local investment.

Through four funds, EnerTech has raised about $500-million and has invested in 62 companies, all of which are private. On average each investment is small about $5-million to $6-million. EnerTech has exited from about half those investments.

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