Acofi Gestion reaches €120m first close on renewables debt fund

The French manager launched the second instalment of its Predirec EnR series earlier this year and is targeting €300m.

Paris-based asset manager Acofi Gestion has held a €120 million first close on its second renewable energy debt fund.

The group secured €45 million from domestic institutional investors, in addition to a €75 million commitment from the European Investment Bank for Predirec EnR 2. Acofi Gestion, which launched the fund at the beginning of the year, said it expected to reach €200 million by the end of the year, ahead of its €300 million target.

The fund follows Acofi Gestion’s 2017-vintage Predirec EnR 2030 vehicle, which raised €160 million and invested purely in renewable generation projects, with the successor fund set to continue the strategy but also to invest up to 20 percent in backing energy efficiency and e-mobility projects. The fund targets net returns of 5 percent, Philippe Garrel, head of infrastructure funds at Acofi Gestion, told Infrastructure Investor.

“We are very focused and specialised in our team and we originate most of our assets in a bilateral way so we are very close to our partners,” Garrel said. “What we can offer them is a lot of flexibility. Our debt can fund either six months or 15 years so it means usually we finance a portfolio of projects and we can change the structure of the loans during the life of the portfolio. This is what makes us different to other debt funds.”

Garrel said about 50 percent of the fund will be invested in France, with Spain, Portugal and Scandinavia also targeted. Predirec EnR 2 will lend in ticket sizes of between €10 million and €30 million. Garrel expects French investors to comprise about 70 percent of the fund at closing and said fundraising momentum has picked up after an initial slowdown from covid-19.

“The impact we had was we lost around three to four months of fundraising because investors were focused on other priorities,” he explained. “Electricity price projections are a bit lower, but the structure of the market has not changed. Just the parameters have been adjusted.”