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Investment Mishap Triggers Leadership Shake-Up in Energy Trust

  • The trust's shares were suspended due to inaccuracies in valuing a solar project, leading to significant financial reevaluation.
  • A conflict between the trust’s board and its former investment manager, ThomasLloyd Group, resulted in a management change to Octopus Energy Generation.
  • With the support of shareholders, the trust is conducting a strategic review and aims to recover value from its existing investments.

The Asian Energy Impact trust is seeking to restore its London listing after publishing delayed annual and interim results, following months of controversy around the trust.

In April, the trust’s shares were suspended after an issue was identified with its 2022 annual results, leading to ‘material uncertainty’ over the fair value of some of its assets and liabilities.

The trust owned a 200 MW construction-ready asset owned by SolarArise, a Delhi-based renewable energy platform owned by ThomasLloyd, which had been valued at $13.9m (£10.9m).

However, price rises in the solar plant’s components and construction cost meant that the project had been incorrectly valued, and the trust eventually pulled out of the investment and wrote it off.

The trust’s newly published results, audited to 30 December 2022 and unaudited to 30 June 2023, now leave a path for it to relist.

Following the suspension incident, the trust’s investment manager, ThomasLloyd Group, and its board began a public spat over whether the trust should be wound up, with the board accusing the manager of withholding “highly material” information from it about the solar project.

“Whilst the board continues to investigate these matters urgently, it appears that key information was withheld from it, and misleading information given to it, over a protracted period of time,” the board said publicly in August.

Eventually, the board gained the support of shareholders, while ThomasLloyd Group was ousted as investment manager and replaced by Octopus Energy Generation, with the trust’s name changed from ThomasLloyd Energy Impact to its current name.

Shareholders have since voted multiple times to allow the trust to continue running while it undertakes a strategic review, when it will then be able to begin investing again.

Sue Inglis, chair of Asian Energy Impact, thanked shareholders “for their patience over the past year”, and said a key priority for the trust was to consider how to “recover value from existing investments”.

“It would be disingenuous to say the period since IPO has not been without disappointment and challenges,” she added.

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By City AM 

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