Ancala’s UK mid-market vehicle hits first close

The London-based fund manager has so far raised £160m for the platform, which it launched last year with a £400m target.

Ancala Partners has held a first close of £160 million (€202.4 million; $222.9 million) on its UK Mid-Market Infrastructure Platform, which has a final target of £400 million.

Ancala created the platform after consulting with pension plans and working closely with Willis Towers Watson, with a view to helping long-term investors generate stable income from low-risk infrastructure assets in the UK, the firm said in a statement.

“We are finding a good number of low-risk investment opportunities in the relatively untapped mid-market sector in the UK where, using our proactive approach, we are able to deliver attractive yields and returns for our investors,” Ancala’s managing partner Spence Clunie said.

According to the statement, the platform has already made its first investment, acquiring Green Highland Renewables (GHR), a hydro power developer and asset owner in Scotland. However, according to the firm’s website, that acquisition – announced in April 2015 – was made through Ancala Renewables, another infrastructure investment vehicle. 

Asked whether Ancala Renewables was separate from the UK mid-market platform, Ancala partner Vincent Gerritsen replied that the fund “was a vehicle established for a single investment we have made before the UK platform was up and running.”

Ancala has been actively managing developing GHR since its acquisition in April 2015. “Following a successful build-out from add-on acquisitions and development of the pipeline, additional capital has been provided to the company part of which has been funded from the recently established UK platform,” Gerritsen said in an e-mailed response, without disclosing the size of the investment.

In addition to the UK Mid-Market Infrastructure platform, which Ancala launched in the fourth quarter of 2015, the firm also has a managed account focused on Europe, according to Gerritsen. 

Ancala was founded in 2010 by Clunie, a former senior managing director with Australian fund manager Macquarie

Before raising and investing its own vehicle, the firm advised a number of investors on infrastructure deals, including Dutch pension giant PGGM, PensionDanmark and Canadian fund manager Northleaf Capital Partners. It has also done some one-off investments that Ancala is managing for investors.

Its 10-member team, which includes renowned British businessman Sir Gerry Robinson, focuses on UK and European mid-market opportunities.