NZ Super Fund buys stake in US wind turbine designer Ogin

Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation GM Matt Whineray

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has bought a US$55 million stake in unlisted US wind turbine maker Ogin Inc.

The Super Fund investment will give Waltham, Massachusetts-based start-up Ogin capital to grow before going public. The fund's investment grew out of its participation in the Innovation Alliance, a group of institutional investors seeking expansion capital opportunities around the world.

"We look forward to working with Ogin as it further develops its products and markets, and as it redevelops existing wind farms using its new turbines," general manager investments for the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation Matt Whineray said in a statement.

The Ogin investment is the Super Fund's second through the Innovation Alliance after it invested US$50 million into Bloom Energy earlier this year. Bloom Energy uses solid oxide fuel cell technology to create power.

Whineray said the investments in Bloom and Ogin are relatively small, though they complement its strategy to increase its exposure to alternative energy and low carbon intensity energy forms.

The Cullen Fund, so-called for its architect former Finance Minister Michael Cullen, joins a group of institutional investors in Ogin including Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Keiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, global investment bank Goldman Sachs.

The fund's Ogin stake will be managed by its in-house team.

(BusinessDesk)

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3 Comments & Questions

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Great to see the Super Fund investing in USA start up/early stage Companies and not NZ start up / early stage companies

What a joke NZ Super are

The Government needs o change its mandate for NZ Super and maybe some new managers

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I have mixed thoughts on your comment. Yes if the Super Fund is starting to do early stage investment it would be nice if they could do some in NZ. the flip side of the coin - the NZ industry has been a disaster and has not delivered results which would justify backing it.

This is a major failure of the NZVIF management and directors - yet they are often the ones complaining that the Super and ACC are not investing. If they had done their job then one suspects both the Super and ACC would have been investing now, creating more momenutm.

To get the Super to invest in NZ VC my suggestion would be to sack the NZVIF board and management (save $5m a year in costs), give the portfolio (might be able to sell it for $1 or $2) to Super to manage and let them hirer some experienced professionals to manage, but require them to invest those funds and some of their own in local ventures or in new funds - but insist on management performance.

But no one in this government has the balls to address this issue - they just sweep it under the carpet - where is Steven Joyce in all this?

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I agree with your comments re NZVIF - who are an absolute joke.

But I think the Government needs to appoint a successful niche capital raising company to review NZVIF and to structure a new programme that links up with NZ Super so that there is a NZ pathway for capital raising at the early and mid stages of the capital raising process - this will reduce the ongoing sell off of successful start ups offshore - or at least until they maximise their position.

Steven Joyce is absent and also probably doesn't fully understand the situation or solution. There is no point appointing a big 4 accounting firm to review this issue - they also have no idea.

But something needs to be done - and soon
There is too much wastage of taxpayers money for a few fools to parade around as NZVIF

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