Rockley Group announces expansion of China Fund to US$200 million

29th November 2010


Dr Andrew Rickman OBE, Chairman, Rockley Group signs agreement with Mr Zhao Jinbo, General Manager, Shanxi Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Corporation at the UK - China Business Summit held in Beijing on 10 November 2010 in the presence of Vince Cable, UK Business Secretary.

Focus is on technology companies in sustainability and energy sectors Rockley portfolio company completes landmark deal in China.

Rockley Group, the technology funding group led by Andrew and Robert Rickman, has announced the expansion of its Rockley China Fund LP to US$200 million following the signature of an agreement with the Shanxi Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Corporation (SSMEIC), the high technology venture fund that is owned by the Shanxi provincial government. 

SSMEIC and Rockley have agreed to raise a US$100 million fund - Zhongying Rockley Fund - and work together on a major new initiative to further develop the enterprise environment in Shanxi Province, China’s leading coal mining region. Shanxi’s GDP is US$100 billion and the province produces 25 per cent of China’s coal and 40 per cent of its coke supplies. 

Last year, Rockley signed a similar agreement to raise a US$100 million fund with the Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation and the Shandong Academy of Sciences. The fund, known as Rockley Luxin, has since been incorporated as a joint venture vehicle (foreign invested venture capital enterprise - FIVCE) and is also part of the wider Rockley China Fund LP, which is headquartered in Beijing. 

Rockley and its partners have established the Shanxi fund and associated advisory and investment management business in Taiyuan City, Shanxi. 60% of the Shanxi fund (US$60 million) has been committed by SSMEIC with 40% (US$40 million) coming from Rockley. The fund is being set up as a FIVCE as this provides the most efficient structure for co-investor partners investing through Rockley.

The focus of the Shanxi fund, like that of the wider Rockley China Fund LP, is on investments in established technology companies in the energy, environment, ICT and health and safety sectors that require expansion capital. Target companies will have the likelihood of a major liquidity event within two to five years and benefit from support provided by the Rockley Shanxi team.

SSMEIC will provide access to development capital, deal flow and advice on regulatory issues. Technology management and further investment opportunities will be sourced from Rockley Group, which has a substantial portfolio of high quality technology companies in the UK, USA and China and will also advise on exit opportunities.

Dr Andrew Rickman, Rockley Group’s chairman, said: “We are delighted to be working with SSMEIC and pleased that they have agreed to commit capital and resources to this exciting initiative.

“The demand for technology solutions to support sustainable domestic economic growth in China will be one of the greatest investment plays of the next few decades. 

Through the Rockley Shanxi initiative and Rockley China Fund, our investors will gain access to high quality deal flow from growing companies with proven products and services to meet that significant demand in China and beyond. We have a growing list of investors from Europe, Hong Kong and China who are attracted by this opportunity.

“Because of our extensive network and portfolio, we will also be able to combine globally sourced technology with established Chinese businesses to create exceptional investment opportunities. 

“Together with our partners, we will contribute significant expertise and resources to support the development of an advanced enterprise environment in Shanxi. This combination makes the initiative a compelling investment opportunity and should also result in real lifestyle improvements, wealth and jobs for the region.”

Rockley Group, its partners and investor networks already offer access to a portfolio of technology companies that are examples of prime investment opportunities which are attractive to fund investors. The investors involved with the Group have developed the portfolio companies into stable, valuable businesses that are closing major commercial contracts and rapidly scaling profitable business models. 

The Rockley Group portfolio includes such rising stars as Green Biologics (GBL), a world leader in biobutanol technology that has recently signed landmark agreements with the China - UK Low Carbon Enterprise Co Ltd (the joint venture company of the China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group and the UK’s Carbon Trust), and two of China’s major biochemical firms. GBL will collaborate with its partners to roll out production of its next generation renewable chemicals and biofuels in China in a deal designed to boost China’s strategy of investment in renewable energy. 

Another portfolio company, Shandong Micro-Sensor Photonics, China, provides fibre optic sensor systems and services to the energy sector. The company’s clients include major coal, oil and power producers. The sensors are used in the coal mining industry to improve safety and the company’s technology was highlighted as world-leading during the recent Chilean mine disaster. The sensors are also applied in the oil and gas industry to improve well extraction efficiency and in electrical power generation to optimise load efficiency. New markets to monitor CO2 sequestration and capture methane from coal mines are also emerging.

Kotura Inc, is a leading producer of silicon photonic circuits, which are used in fibre optic communication and sensing systems by telecom system manufacturers and computer companies. The company has assembly operations in China, which it will shortly be expanding to service the high level of demand for its products. 

Rockley and SSMEIC have already started work on a company that commercialises stranded gas resources using compressed natural gas technology. This enables the cost effective and environmentally beneficially local use of gas from oil well flares, remote resources and coal bed methane as a substitute for fuel oil in electricity generation, for industrial and domestic use. 

Editors Notes

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Photo available on request

Dr Andrew Rickman, chairman of Rockley Group.

About Rockley Group and the Rockley China Fund LP

Rockley Group specialises in building valuable technology businesses that contribute to global sustainability and the improvement of human well-being. We focus on technology businesses that represent great opportunities but also allow us to unlock hidden value which we share with our investment funds and partners.Our portfolio companies address global markets including energy, industrial efficiency, ICT and health and safety. 

Led by Dr Andrew Rickman (Founder and Former CEO, of optical components giant Bookham Inc – now Oclaro) and his brother Robert, the management team also includes other successful entrepreneurs and individuals with substantial experience as investors and fund managers across a range of technology sectors. We join with local partners where this strengthens our investment management team and opens up a flow of superior transaction opportunities.

Rockley Group invests in and manages The Rockley China Fund LP, a US$200 million fund focused on providing expansion capital for established companies with proven technologies in the energy and sustainability sectors for the China market. 

The Rockley China Fund encompasses: 

the Rockley Luxin JV, a US$100 million fund with the Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation (SDHTIC), the high technology venture fund owned by the Shandong provincial government. The fund is split as 37.5% (US$37.5m) from SDHTIC and 62.5% (US$62.5m) from Rockley.

the Zhongying Rockley JV, a US$100 million fund with the Shanxi Small and Medium Enterprise Corporation (SSMEIC), the high technology venture fund owned by the Shanxi provincial government. SSMEIC has committed 60% of the fund (US$60m) with 40% (US$40m) coming from Rockley.

Each joint venture investment company is set up as a Foreign Invested Venture Capital Enterprise (FIVCE) as this provides an efficient structure for co-investors wishing to invest through Rockley Group. Investors can use onshore or offshore vehicles to make investments. 

The Rockley China Fund is headquartered in Beijing and builds on the Rockley team’s experience of their current US$90m global investment portfolio with significant existing activities in China. For more information:

About the Shanxi Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Corporation

Founded in 2009, the Shanxi Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Corporation (SSMEIC) is a high technology venture fund that is owned by the Shanxi provincial government with a capital of US$1 billion invested in 700 companies. 

SSMEIC’s areas of specialisation include: sustainable technology, mining technology, sustainable energy, metallurgy and materials.