Capricorn Energy investor Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has announced its support for a change in the board of directors at Capricorn Investment Group. The move comes as shareholders have called for a vote on the matter, which could lead to the removal of current directors. LGIM, which is the fourth-biggest shareholder in Capricorn Energy, said in a statement on Tuesday that it believes the board needs to be refreshed to ensure the company can achieve its long-term goals.
Capricorn Investment Group, which manages more than $5 billion in assets, is known for its investments in clean energy and sustainable technology. The company was founded by Jeff Skoll, the former president of eBay, and has backed a range of successful startups in the sector. Capricorn has also been involved in some high-profile acquisitions, including the purchase of the electric vehicle charging network ChargePoint in 2021.
The US climate bill has been hailed as a monumental change for clean tech startups by Capricorn Investment Group's Ion Yadigaroglu. The bill, which was signed into law in November 2021, includes a range of measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable energy. Yadigaroglu, who is a managing partner at Capricorn, said the legislation would create "unprecedented opportunities" for startups in the sector.
Capricorn Investment Group is also known for its ownership of the Washington Capitals, a professional ice hockey team in the US. The company's involvement in the sport has led to the creation of the popular website Russian Machine Never Breaks, which is devoted to the Capitals and their star player, Alex Ovechkin. The site has become a hub for fans of the team, with regular updates and analysis of games and player performances.
In addition to its investments in clean energy and sports, Capricorn Investment Group has also been expanding its reach into the venture capital space. In December 2021, the company made its first move into the Nordic venture space by investing in the Norwegian startup Inzmo, which provides insurance solutions for the sharing economy. Capricorn said the investment was part of its strategy to support innovative startups in the European market.
One of the companies backed by Capricorn Investment Group is Summit Nanotech, a Canadian firm that is working to solve lithium supply chain challenges. The company recently announced it had raised $50 million in a Series A2 funding round, with participation from Capricorn and other investors. Summit is aiming to develop sustainable solutions for the production of lithium, which is a key component in batteries used in electric vehicles.
However, not all shareholders are happy with Capricorn Investment Group's performance. Palliser, which is the company's third-biggest shareholder, called for a general meeting in March 2022 to set a vote on removing some of the current directors. Palliser said it was concerned about Capricorn's "lack of transparency" and its failure to deliver on promised returns. The move marks the latest in a series of challenges faced by Capricorn, which has also been criticized for its ties to the controversial energy company Enbridge.
Despite these challenges, Capricorn Investment Group continues to attract attention from investors. In February 2022, the ownership group of the Washington Wizards, Capitals, and Mystics announced it had a new minority investor in Jeff Skoll, the founder of Capricorn. The move was seen as a vote of confidence in Capricorn's ability to deliver returns in the clean energy and sustainable technology sectors.
One of the companies that Capricorn Investment Group has invested in is Erthos, a solar energy technology company based in Tempe, Arizona. Erthos is focused on developing breakthrough advances for the solar industry, with a particular emphasis on reducing the cost of solar power. The company recently announced it had secured $10 million in funding from Capricorn and other investors, which it said would help it accelerate the development of its products.