by Roger Aitken — Europe’s answer to speeding up the decontamination of old industrial sites—revamping and greening them into sound places to live and work—took a further step forward as investment vehicle Ginkgo announced the first closing and launch of its second fund, Ginkgo 2, which targets the sustainable remediation of brownfield sites in urban areas.
The Ginkgo Fund 2, which had already raised €60 million from a group of large institutional investors towards a target of €140m by the end of this year, aims to facilitate the sustainable redevelopment of substantially polluted sites, meeting the environmental, economic and social challenges of remediating brownfields in urban areas.
The first generation Ginkgo Fund 1, which was instigated by the Edmond de Rothschild Group back in 2010, is being used to clean up seven contaminated brownfield sites in France and Belgium. These projects are in the process of creating more than 200,000m² of building rights in the centre of major cities, over 3,000 housing units and some 5,000 jobs.
It is projected that Ginkgo Fund 2 will enable the creation of 350,000m² of new building rights, which encompass around 5,000 housing units and the equivalent of 8,500 full-time jobs.
Bruno Farber, CEO of Ginkgo, commenting at a signing ceremony for the new fund at the Gerland site in Lyon, which itself is in the process of remediation under Gingko 1,said: “The successful launch of Ginkgo 2 was made possible by the very strong loyalty of our original investors, virtually all of which have doubled their commitment by reinvesting in Ginkgo 2”.
After what was described as a “highly detailed examination” of the first fund’s activities and of Ginkgo Fund 2’s planned management teams and governance structures, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Caisse des Dépôts—among the fund’s principal investors—resolved to demonstrate their “continued confidence” in Ginkgo by committing up to €30 million (c.$33.45m/£22.75m) each in the fund.
Meanwhile, the Edmond de Rothschild Group and Société Fédérale de Participations et d’Investissement (SFPI) each invested nearly €10m (c.$11.15m/£7.583m). New investors also participated in the fund.
With a dual role as an environmental remediation specialist and land developer, Ginkgo seeks to be a key investor in the redevelopment of significantly polluted sites in urban areas. As with its predecessor, Ginkgo 2 will continue to operate mainly in France and Belgium on cleaning up contaminated brownfield sites. It will work with the owners of the polluted land, local and regional authorities, builders, developers and the final end users.