Ardian-backed Hy24 reaches €1bn first close on hydrogen fund – exclusive

Hy24, jointly owned by Ardian and FiveT Hydrogen, expects to close the Clean H2 Infra Fund on its €1.8bn hard-cap by mid-2022.

Less than three months since Paris-based investment firm Ardian and FiveT Hydrogen, a clean hydrogen investment platform, teamed up to launch Hy24 as a joint venture, the newly formed GP has held a first close of €1 billion on its Clean H2 Infra Fund, market sources told Infrastructure Investor.

When the launch was announced in October, Hy24 had already secured €800 million. Earlier this month, Spain’s Enagás, Italy’s Snam and GRTgaz of France committed €100 million to the fund, the first investment the trio are making through their newly established joint initiative to invest in clean hydrogen projects.

“In line with the decarbonisation goals set by the European Union, the three TSOs [transmission system operators] have [assessed] that hydrogen will play a critical role in the Energy Transition and have agreed to jointly explore further possibilities for co-operation in this field,” the companies said in a statement.

The remaining €100 million rounding out the €1 billion first close came from French re-insurer CCR Group, Infrastructure Investor understands.

According to the market sources Infrastructure Investor spoke with, a final close on the fund’s hard-cap of €1.8 billion is expected by mid-2022.

It is understood that the fund’s LP base currently comprises 80 percent strategic investors and 20 percent financial investors. They include the fund’s original sponsors AirLiquide, TotaleEnergies and Vinci Concessions, as well as three major US industrial companies, Plug Power, Chart Industries and Baker Hughes. South Korea’s LOTTE Chemical, Groupe ADP, AXA, Ballard, EDF and Schaeffler were also early backers of the fund.

Having attracted major industrial players, Hy24 expects a more even split of its LP base by final close between strategic and financial investors, Infrastructure Investor understands.

Hy24, which currently has offices in Paris and Zurich, expects to open an office in Singapore and New York, though a timeline has not been established. The new GP has a 17-member team, which is expected to grow to around 20-25 people.

The Clean H2 Infra Fund, which qualifies under SFDR’s Article 9, will invest across the entire hydrogen value chain. It is understood that roughly 50 percent will target Europe, the Middle East and Africa, while the remainder will be evenly split between the Americas and Asia.

Ardian and FiveT Hydrogen declined to comment for this story.