Curtin University of Technology has sold the majority of its shareholding in Cool Energy Pty Ltd to STVF1, a venture capital fund owned 51 per cent by Royal Dutch Shell Group (Shell) with a minority holding being sold to Cleantech Ventures, a Melbourne based venture capital fund manager.
Cool Energy was established by Curtin in 2002 to commercialise a novel process for cryogenic removal of carbon dioxide from natural gas streams. The technology was developed by Curtin’s Professor Robert Amin and has the potential to significantly improve the economics of high CO2 natural gas fields.
Curtin’s Director of IP Commercialisation, Mr Rohan McDougall, explained the decision to sell the University’s stake.
“Curtin established and made an initial seed investment into Cool Energy to facilitate commercialisation of the technology,” he said.
“Cool Energy has made good progress in development and is being taken forward by STVF1.”
“It is not Curtin’s intention to be long term shareholders in companies once they are established. We aim to attract other investors and see the technology applied in the market place as well as generating a return on investment.”
Cool Energy attracted the interest of Shell from an early stage and the companies have worked together on development of the separation process for the last six years. The Company has made significant progress in development including the establishment of a pilot plant in Dongarra, Western Australia.
STVF1 became a shareholder in the company in 2004. The fund recently made an offer to buy all outstanding shares in the company at an undisclosed price and Curtin accepted this offer.
As part of the sale process, a portion of Curtin’s shareholding was taken up by another existing shareholder, Cleantech Ventures, which exercised its pre-emptive purchase rights under the shareholders agreement.
Contact: Mr Rohan McDougall; Director, IP Commercialisation; Curtin; 08 9266 3370; firstname.lastname@example.org OR Ann Marie Lim; Public Relations; Curtin; 08 9266 4241; 0401 103 532; email@example.com
Note to Editors:
About Curtin IP Commercialisation
Curtin established a pre-seed in 2005 and a follow on fund in 2008 each of up to $5 million. The funds are being applied to support early stage commercialisation of innovative new technologies developed at Curtin. The University has invested in 10 companies and a number of unincorporated opportunities. The investee companies are rapidly growing and employ over 100 people in new economy jobs and generate revenues in excess of $10 million per annum.
About Cool Energy
Cool Energy Plc is a Perth-based gas technology company pioneering proprietary new bulk CO2 removal technologies with potential to significantly reduce the development costs of high CO2 natural gas fields, especially when combined with carbon capture and storage.
Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 B.V., managed by Kenda Capital B.V. (“Kenda”), is a unique large scale investment fund focused on reducing the cost of energy by accelerating the development and deployment of new technologies. Kenda and the Fund have solid energy sector expertise, fostered through a unique technology relationship with the Shell Group. Major investors in the Fund are the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Coller Capital and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
About Cleantech Ventures
Cleantech Ventures is a specialist venture capital fund manager focused on investments in companies developing clean technologies. Cleantech Ventures manages funds on behalf of the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments as well as VicSuper, a Melbourne based Superfund.