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Kyotherm successfully completes 6th round of financing at €4.8m

Arranger and financier of renewable heat and energy efficiency projects, Kyotherm has just closed a €4.8m fundraising round. The funds come from the company’s historical shareholders, namely Noria Invest (reference shareholder), GreenQuest 2 and Starquest ISF 4, as well as from a new investor, Johes, a rather discreet family company. It is chaired by Jean-François Vaury and is notably a shareholder in Green Services Group,TEEO and Greensolver. Johes has also invested in Echy, Station Energy and ASV. Kyotherm founder Arnaud Susplugas is a minority shareholder but retains control.

A strong point, geothermal energy

The money raised will be targeted along the two lines followed by the company for several years. Firstly, the co-development of major renewable or waste heat projects, with a major focus on geothermal energy – the six operations completed since the company was founded mainly concern this energy. For example, Kyotherm is a 34% shareholder in Société Géothermale du Val d’Europe, dedicated to the geothermal heating network for the Villages Nature project, next to Disneyland Paris – a disputed but authorized project (see DRIEE Ile-de-France opinion in 2012). A €35 million first geothermal phase has been completed. But there’s still plenty of heat to be sold (thanks to the Dogger…) and a tranche 2 is being prospected.

Beyond geothermal energy, the company is developing its biomass segment. In particular, it is studying a project for a 2 MW wood-fired cogeneration plant for an educational establishment.

This is where 80% of the company’s business lies.
Therein lies 80% of Kyotherm’s business, which is not disclosing its 2015 sales figures, let alone its profitability: “We create value for shareholders,” says Arnaud Susplugas soberly.

“Attractive financing costs”

The second focus is on third-party financing of energy efficiency projects in industry (variable speed drives, waste heat, etc.), structured around energy performance contracts. The usual 33%/66% split of profits between the customer and Kyotherm, over contracts of 8 to 25 years. But how do you reassure investors and financiers in this sector, which has been severely weakened by the fall in fossil fuel prices, particularly gas? Arnaud Susplugas argues: “We respond by structuring projects with quality, and often manage to transform an industrial project into a financial asset, with an attractive cost of financing and sometimes accepting limited returns.”

An employer of three but a major buyer of consulting, Kyotherm cohabits in the large-scale projects segment with behemoths Dalkia and Cofely – sometimes with close partnerships, as is the case for Villages Nature with Cofely. An obviously successful positioning, given the confidence of shareholders: the company is at its 6th round of financing since its creation in 2011.