Marchant takes chair ahead of Infinis float

Former SSE chief executive Ian Marchant has been appointed as chairman of renewable energy group Infinis as it prepares for a possible flotation.

Ian Marchant was chief executive at energy giant SSE for ten years. Picture: Robert Perry

Infinis, which is owned by Guy Hands’ Terra Firma private equity firm, has offices in Edinburgh and Northampton and operates 147 power plants across the UK, including seven wind farms in Scotland.

Recent reports have suggested that Terra Firma, which also owns the Odeon cinema chain, is seeking an initial public offering (IPO) for Infinis in Toronto, potentially valuing the business at £1 billion, but it may also consider a buyout. A spokesman declined to comment on its plans.

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Marchant, who stepped down from Perth-based SSE in July after a decade at the helm, said: “Infinis is a modern renewable power generator with a strong asset base, attractive growth prospects and professional and experienced management team.

“I look forward to working with the company and the management team to continue its successful track record and realise its growth potential.”

Infinis was formed in 2006 as a spin-off from Terra Firma’s Waste Recycling Group, which it sold to Spanish construction and utilities firm FCC for £1.4bn.

The firm, which employs 375 people, generates about 7 per cent of the UK’s total renewable power and is the largest generator of electricity from landfill gas, with a market share of about 40 per cent. It also has ten hydro-electric facilities, including one on the river Duror in Argyll.

All of its wind energy activities are managed from its Edinburgh office, which has 15 staff.

Last month Infinis posted a 26 per cent jump in profits to £24.2m for the first quarter of its financial year, on revenues 25.3 per cent higher at £41.9m.

Current chair Mike Kinski, a former chief executive of transport group Stagecoach, will become a non-executive director if the float goes ahead.

He said: “As Infinis looks to the future, we are confident that Ian’s guidance will be invaluable and enable the company to further build on its strengths as the UK’s largest independent renewable power generator.”