Ardian buys out Merrill Lynch’s interests in F2i infrastructure fund for €150m


F2i Fund infraEuropean private equity firm Ardian has picked up Merrill Lynch’s commitments to Italian infrastructure investor F2i’s debut fund in a €150m deal.

Ardian, which recently rebranded from AXA Private Equity, has also picked up a 9.9 per cent stake in F2i SGR’s share capital and will hold a seat on the company’s board.

F2i is currently fundraising for a €1.2bn-targeting second vehicle, well below the €1.85bn it gathered for its debut.

Ardian said the deal demonstrated its ability to underwrite secondary transactions focused on infrastructure assets, which it said was a growing part of the market.

The deal comes hot on the heels of Ardian agreeing to become the biggest shareholder in Spanish oil products and storage company CLH Group by picking up another five per cent of the business.

Ardian previously bought a 10 per cent stake in CLH in 2011.

The firm said the purchase was the latest from its third generation Infrastructure Fund, which it added was seeing an exceptionally high number of deal opportunities within European infrastructure.

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