Actis holds $3bn first close on EM-focused energy fund

The firm’s latest energy fund is targeting $4bn and is a continuation of a strategy focused on building platform companies managing energy-related infrastructure assets.

Actis has raised nearly $3 billion for the firm’s fifth emerging markets-focused energy fund, which held first close last week, according to a source familiar with the fundraise.

The London-based firm has received $2.9 billion in capital commitments for Actis Energy 5, which Actis launched in the first quarter targeting $4 billion, the source told Infrastructure Investor. The source said Actis expects to finish fundraising in the coming months, adding that the firm’s fourth fund has now been fully committed to investments.

The new fund’s strategy is similar to Actis’ previous investment vehicles, which have focused on building platform companies managing power generation and electricity distribution assets in Latin America, Africa and South-East Asia. Last week, the firm was reportedly in talks with private equity firm KKR to acquire a 435MW solar portfolio from CDPQ-backed Azure Power Global.

Actis closed its fourth energy-focused fund on $2.75 billion in March 2017. This vehicle drew commitments from LPs including the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York, Allstate Life Insurance and the International Finance Corporation. Actis Energy 4 was generating an 18.6 percent net return as of March 2019, according to a document published by the NYC Fire Department pension.

Last August, Actis closed its first dedicated infrastructure fund after raising $1.23 billion. The firm has described its Actis Long Life Infrastructure Fund as a “complementary strategy” to its energy vehicles. It pitched the fund as an opportunity for LPs to gain exposure to low-risk operational assets in markets that are not as risky as previously perceived. The vehicle has a 15-year lifespan and will invest in operating power, transmission, generation and distribution assets.

Actis declined to comment for this story.