AXA Private Equity (AXA PE), the private equity arm of French insurer AXA, has closed its third – and largest – infrastructure fund, the firm announced today.
AXA Infrastructure Fund III has closed on €1.45 billion, with AXA PE raising a further €300 million for co-investments, bringing the total tally raised for infrastructure to €1.75 billion. The fund manager said it has already invested a quarter of the new fund across four assets.
AXA PE’s latest infrastructure fund attracted commitments from institutional investors from North America, Asia and Europe, with the firm saying “many new investors have committed to the fund, alongside AXA PE’s existing investor base”.
Dominique Senequier, AXA PE chief executive, added that “the influx of new investors also shows the growing demand for infrastructure as an asset class”.
Fund III, like its predecessors, will target investments in Europe across the core infrastructure space. AXA PE head of infrastructure Mathias Burghardt said “sophisticated investors today understand that Europe provides the most attractive deal flow opportunities to build a core infrastructure portfolio”.
The third fund’s latest investment was the acquisition of a 23.48 percent stake last year in Luxembourg utility Enovos from AcerlorMitall for €330 million. Thanks to its co-investment strategy, only about half of the €700 million committed to the four deals Fund III has been involved in pertains to equity directly invested by the fund.
AXA PE already has two prior infrastructure funds. The first was a €200 million vehicle formed specifically so that it could acquire a stake in SANEF, the French motorways operator. Its second fund closed on €1.1 billion.