Ardian backs F2i with €30m

The pledge brings the total capital raised by the Italian firm’s second fund to €740m.

Paris-based Ardian has committed €30 million to F2i Second Fund, a vehicle managed by Italian infrastructure specialist Fondo Italiani per le Infrastrutture (F2i).

Launched in July 2012, the fund has a €1.2 billion target. Ardian’s pledge brings the total capital collected by the firm’s Second Fund to €740 million.

According to a statement, its limited partner (LP) base now comprises banks (27.03 percent); foundations (26.35 percent); pension funds (20.14 percent); public institutions (13.51 percent); investment firms (7.57 percent); and insurance companies (5.41 percent).

The fund, which held a first close on €575 million in October 2012, is a successor to F2i’s €1.9 billion first vehicle. It has already deployed a total of €309 million in four Italian companies, comprising SEA, TRM, SIA and Enel Rete Gas.

Ardian’s fresh investment in the fund will further cement the existing relationship it has with F2i, following co-investments by both companies in previous years.

Last December, Ardian and F2i jointly bought a 14.8 percent stake in Enel Rete Gas, Italy’s second-largest gas distributor, adding to the 85.1 percent stake they already owned in the business.

Ardian then acquired €150 million worth of assets in F2i’s first fund, in a secondary transaction that saw the French firm acquire commitments from US lender Bank of America Merril Lynch equal to 15.9 percent of the fund’s A units and 8.10 percent of its total size. As part of the deal, Ardian also acquired 9.9 percent of F2i’s management company. It now holds a seat on F2i’s board.

The fund managers had previously teamed up to acquire G6 Rete Gas – the Italian gas network of France’s GDF Suez – and E.On Rete – that of Germany’s E.On – in 2011.