Paris-based private equity firm AXA Private Equity has raised €1.75bn for infrastructure investments including commitments of €1.45bn for its AXA Infrastructure Fund III.
The fund includes €300m specifically allocated to co-investments.
A quarter of the AXA Infrastructure Fund III has already been committed in four deals including the acquisition of stakes in utility company Enovos from ArcelorMittal and in Poweo’s operational French wind farms from Verbund.
The LPs that have backed the new fund included pension funds to direct investors from North America, Asia and Europe.
Dominique Senequier, AXA Private Equity chief executive, said, “In the current climate, our strategy of long-term investment, real returns and regular yields have proven very attractive to the market.
“The influx of new investors, making up an increasingly diversified investor base, also shows the growing demand for infrastructure as an asset class.”
Mathias Burghardt, head of infrastructure, AXA Private Equity, added, “The amount we have raised in this market is very much at the upper end of our expectations and confirms our ability to fundraise well, even in a tough climate. AXA Private Equity will continue with its strategy of investment in core infrastructure assets working alongside leading industrial players, offering protection against inflation and low volatility. We will look to further boost proprietary deal flow through our excellent visibility in Continental Europe. Sophisticated investors today understand that Europe provides the most attractive deal flow opportunities to build a core infrastructure portfolio.”
The firm now has $31bn under managed or advised in Europe, north America and Asia, while AXA Private Equity Infrastructure has assets under management of €3bn.
AXA also said that it thinks that European large corporate disposal programmes of non-strategic assets will produce “high quality opportunities”.
AXA said, “The high number of regulated assets, such as gas and electricity grids as well as renewable energy assets, being put up for sale will continue.
“But the firm also expects to see a rise in the number of other types of assets coming onto the market, e.g. road and rail, both through government and corporate asset sales.”
It also arranged a €220m unitranche facility for the acquisition of IPH by French private equity firm PAI Partners, from Investcorp. The deal represents the largest unitranche financing in Europe to date.
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