Emerging markets investment firm Darby Overseas Investments, the private equity arm of Franklin Resources, and Korea's Hana Bank have closed the jointly managed Korea Emerging Infrastructure Fund on KRW580bn (approximately $610m), exceeding its original KRW500bn target.
KEIF will be managed by Darby Hana Infrastructure Fund Management Company, which is 70 per cent owned by Darby and 30 per cent owned by Hana.
Investors include the National Pension Service of Korea, the Government Employees Pension Corporation of Korea, Korea Post, Korea Life Insurance, the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, Dongbu Insurance and Kumho Life Insurance.
KEIF will make private equity investments in, and mezzanine loans to private companies engaged in a range of activities in the Korean infrastructure sector, including transportation, environment, logistics, energy and utilities.
Richard H Frank, Darby’s chief executive officer, said, ‘Korea is actively promoting development of its private infrastructure sector to help sustain long-term economic growth and productivity. We see excellent opportunities for investment and our partnership with Hana will allow KEIF’s investors to participate in these opportunities.’
Jong Yeul Kim, Hana’s president, added, ‘Infrastructure funds have been rapidly replacing construction companies as the major providers of equity and mezzanine capital to infrastructure projects in Korea. Institutional investors have decided to participate in KEIF to better cope with the market change and, through the fund, Hana and Darby will actively pursue investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector. We also appreciate the opportunity with this fund to combine our own broad experience in the Korean financial markets with Darby’s global expertise in infrastructure investing.’
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