€500m first close for infra/real estate debt fund

La Banque Postale Asset Management's hybrid vehicle will continue to fundraise for the next nine months.

La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBPAM), the asset management arm of French bank La Banque Postale, announced today that it has reached a €500 million first close for its debut infrastructure and real estate debt fund.

“We have crossed an important threshold with this first closing. We are starting the investment phase while continuing to raise funds from our institutional clients, as the subscription period remains open for the next 9 months. We have already identified investment opportunities that should offer attractive returns from quality assets to our clients”, René Kassis, who is heading LBPAM's incipient debt business, said in a statement.

LBPAM's hybrid vehicle is actually structured as two separate sub-funds: an infrastructure sub-fund targeting social infrastructure, transport, utilities and green investments; and a real-estate sub-vehicle looking to invest in office, retail, residential and logistics. Infrastructure Investor understands that capital will be allocated across the two asset classes on a roughly 50/50 basis.

The funds will provide senior debt and target the European primary and secondary markets, particularly Western Europe. LBPAM's new debt team was recruited last summer and is spearheaded by Kassis, the long-time, Paris-based former head of infrastructure at Dexia – a veteran banker with some two decades of project finance experience.

In addition to Kassis, the team also includes Pierre Saeli, principal for real estate debt; Pierre Bonnet, principal for infrastructure debt; and chief operating officer Irène d’Orgeval.

Sources close to the fund explained that, whilst the two sub-vehicles are completely separate, the team fundraises as one, to allow for positive spillover when pitching the fund to limited partners from the two asset classes.

LBPAM has €137.5 billion of assets under management and, according to the firm, is the fifth largest asset manager in France.