Crédit Agricole Private Equity and Demeter Partners to invest in Methaneo

Crédit Agricole Private Equity is to invest in Methaneo, a company that develops methanisation units, via its FCPR Capenergie fund, alongside Demeter Partners via its FCPR Demeter 2 fund. The two shareholders will invest €1.5 million each.

Created in 2007 by biogas sector and sustainable development experts Yann Mercier and Sébastien Couzy, Methaneo specialises in the development of collective methanisation projects using biomass from agricultural and food waste.

Methanisation entails the fermentation of organic matter, which produces energy thanks to the methane-rich biogas created by the procedure. This energy is then transformed into electricity that is sold to the EDF grid at a price guaranteed for 15 years.

The company focuses on “territorial” methanisation projects. The uniqueness of this kind of facility lies in the fact that it brings together a number of local partners, namely biomass suppliers and heat reclaimers (manufacturers, farmers and public authorities), whereas individual methanisation at farms generally involves just one operator. This unique attribute favours economies of scale and improved heat recovery.

From finding deposits to carrying out projects, the company’s aim is to become a green electrical and thermal energy producer and to establish itself as a key player in territorial development. Yann Mercier, Chairman of Methaneo, comments: “This partnership will enable us to strengthen our operational structure and to convince local operators of the relevance of our approach.”

Serge Savasta, Head of Renewable Energy at Crédit Agricole Private Equity, states: “We are delighted to work with this pioneering young French company in the agricultural methanisation sector. Methaneo benefits from an experienced management team with extensive knowledge of the field and which has already proven itself, for example by winning its first major project in competition with major energy companies.”

Stéphane Villecroze, Partner at Demeter Partners, adds: “We firmly believe in the advantages and growth potential of methanisation, from the viewpoint of both decentralised energy production and waste management. Methaneo’s strategy and its ability to form partnerships with local operators are particularly relevant.”

Having already made investments in wind energy, hydroelectricity and solar energy, this marks the Capenergie fund’s first investment in the solid biomass sector.

Methaneo is the first investment for the FCPR Demeter 2 fund. The first FCPR Demeter fund is fully invested in 22 companies.

Yann Mercier, Chairman
Sébastien Couzy, Managing Director

Crédit Agricole Private Equity
Serge Savasta, Head of Renewable Energy
Sylvia Raussin, Investment manager

Demeter Partners
Stéphane Villecroze, Partner
Jean-Charles Scatena, Associate

Investor’s advisors
Legal: Philippe Torre and Mathieu Laval, Cabinet RMT
Financial: Frédéric Mazel, Fiduciaire Leydet

Company advisor
Legal: Séverin Kullmann, Cabinet BCTG

Press contacts
Martine Sessin-Caracci – – +33 1 43 23 90 88
Louise Bailey – – +33 1 43 12 53 41

About Crédit Agricole Private Equity
Crédit Agricole Private Equity, an AMF-authorised investment management company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Crédit Agricole S.A., specialises in direct private equity investment in unlisted companies. A multi-specialist, Crédit Agricole Private Equity has 50 investment teams focusing on different segments of the private equity market (LBO & Expansion, Venture Capital, Mezzanine, Renewable Energy, PPP Infrastructure, Liquidity Solutions, Co-Investment) and manages a total of €2.2 billion in various types of private equity vehicle (FCPR, SICAR, FCPI and SCR). Crédit Agricole Private Equity supports entrepreneurs in their expansion plans.

About Demeter Partners
Demeter Partners, an AMF-accredited independent asset management company, manages funds investing capital in SMEs in the eco-industries sector (water, waste, polluted sites) and the eco-energies sector (renewable energies, energy efficiency, environmentally-friendly buildings). The first FCPR Demeter fund manages assets of €105 million invested entirely in 22 companies. The FCPR Demeter 2 fund is aiming for assets of €200 million and announced an initial closing value of €125 million on 15 September 2008. Demeter Partners has offices in Paris, Madrid and Freiburg.