Ardian raises $820m for second Americas fund at first close – exclusive

The Paris-based fund manager expects to reach final close on $1.5bn before summer, a target which, if met, will make AAIF V nearly double the size of its predecessor.

Roughly three years after raising its debut Americas fund, Ardian is back on the fundraising trail for its latest vehicle dedicated to the region and has held a first close on $820 million, Infrastructure Investor has learned.

Ardian Americas Infrastructure Fund V has a target of $1.5 billion, one the firm expects to meet before this summer, a source told Infrastructure Investor. The firm has already achieved a roughly 75 percent re-up rate, this person added, securing commitments from European, US and Asian LPs. It has also attracted new investors, including one major French LP.

Like its predecessor, AAIF V will invest in the renewable energy, natural gas, transportation and utilities sectors, in the US, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Colombia. However, the majority of the capital – 85 percent – will be invested in North America.

The French fund manager made its foray into the region cautiously, raising slightly more than $800 million for AAIF IV in May 2018, which, while modest in size, was still above its $500 million target and oversubscribed. Fund IV is understood to be fully deployed.

Ardian has been developing its strategy in the region steadily, building up its US-based team, opening an office in Santiago and, in September 2020, partnering with a subsidiary of Italian energy group Enel. The joint venture, in which Ardian holds an 80 percent stake, will manage the existing battery storage projects of Enel X in Canada and support the development of similar projects in the country.

Ardian declined to comment for this story.