Shell pension fund manager takes 20% of hybrid power firm

Dutch pension fund also details engagement processes for Q3, 2009

Shell Asset Management Co. (Samco), the manager of the oil major’s various pension funds, has taken its stake in hybrid electric power company Enova Systems to almost 20% following a $10m capital raising exercise. According to regulatory filings, Samco has just over six million shares – representing a 19.4% stake – in California-based Enova, which develops electric, hybrid and fuel cell digital power-management systems and counts Ford, Daimler and the US military among its clients. Enova was founded in 1976 and was formerly known as US Electricar. The company is listed on NYSE Amex and AIM and reported a net loss of $1.3m on revenues of $2.9m in the quarter to September 30. Samco bought just under 3.2m shares at $1, according to a December 15 filing. Samco’s stake has been rising from an initial 7.8% disclosed in April 2008 as more shares have been issued. Samco’s recently appointed chief investment officer Piet Roelandt signed an agreement with Enova in October whereby StitchingShell Pensioenfonds, the Shell Contributory Pension Fund and the Shell Overseas Contributory Pension Fund, along with other investors, would buy just over 9m shares. The placing was handled by Investec Bank. Enova held a shareholder meeting earlier this month. Chief executive Mike Staran said: “With the recent push to deploy cleaner, more efficient vehicles for commercial transportation, Enova is ideally positioned to become a market leader in the emerging EV and HEV segment.”
Meanwhile, Stichting Shell Pensioenfonds says it has engaged – via Hermes EOS – with 114 companies on corporate governance and responsible investment issues in the third quarter of 2009. Issues included board structure, succession, child labour, climatic change, water and waste management and corruption.
A live issue at the fund at the moment is its agreement with the sponsor, Shell Petroleum. The scheme’s Members’ Council discussed the matter at a meeting last month, according to a report for members.