Clunie to launch new fund targeting ‘refinancing wall’

Spence Clunie, former head of Macquarie Capital’s UK and European debt advisory business, is in the process of launching a new business, Ancala Partners, and is understood to be seeking to raise a fund of €750m to €1bn.

Ancala Partners, a new London-based firm being launched by former Macquarie Capital veteran Spence Clunie, is understood to be planning a new fund next year that will address the funding needs of infrastructure and essential service assets that require refinancing. It is understood that the fund will aim to raise between €750 million and €1 billion. 

Clunie has spoken in the past of a “refinancing wall” as the highly leveraged infrastructure transactions completed prior to 2007 come due for refinancing in a liquidity-constrained banking market. A substantial amount of debt will come to maturity over the next four years at a time when many banks are seeking to reduce their exposures and rating agencies are becoming more conservative.

With assets needing to reduce leverage in order to achieve refinancings, a potential funding gap arises as fund managers lack capital or are unwiling to inject fresh capital if they are on the fundraising trail. It is this funding gap that Ancala’s new fund will seek to address by injecting fresh equity or junior debt.

Clunie is understood to be currently in the process of building a management committee prior to expanding his investment team. He is also continuing to work for Macquarie as a consultant on a couple of refinancing projects. Ancala is scheduled for official launch early next year.

Clunie joined Macquarie Capital in April 2005 and built its UK and European debt team from scratch. During those five years, the debt team raised €95 billion of capital for infrastructure and essential service companies.

Prior to joining Macquarie, Clunie was head of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein’s acquisition finance business.