US Solar Fund has named Amber Infrastructure Group as its ‘preferred candidate’ to replace New Energy Solar Manager (NSEM) as the trust’s investment manager.
Amber is a specialist infrastructure investment manager with approximately £5bn of funds under management.
The selection of Amber follows a ‘multi-phase competitive process’ conducted by the trust’s board as part of the strategic review initiated in October 2022.
The trust mutually agreed to part ways with NESM at the end of a five-year term in April 2024, following poor share price performance. The discount to net asset value has reached 34.8%.
Amber’s US team is headquartered in New York with offices in Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, and Texas. It has been responsible for over three gigawatts of US solar projects including acquisitions, greenfield development, asset management, and divestments.
NESM will continue to act as investment manager until Amber is formally appointed.
Stifel analyst Iain Scouller commented: “Corporate change at US Solar appears to be taking an inordinate amount of time given the strategic review was announced last October and Amber has not actually been appointed as manager yet, but has moved to ‘exclusivity as the preferred candidate’.
“The board says it and Amber will consult with shareholders over the next few weeks,” Scouller continued. “We assume the actual appointment of Amber and the structure of the management contract will depend on what shareholders say they want done with the fund going forward. At least Amber as a management group is well known to infrastructure investors given its management of International Public Partnerships, which seems a good starting point.”
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