Cube completes spin-out from Natixis

The milestone allows the Luxembourg-based fund manager to launch its second vehicle with a first close expected early this year.

Cube Infrastructure Managers (Cube IM) is no longer part of Natixis after its management team bought all the shares it did not already own in the business from the French banking group.

The stake was acquired by Cube Infrastructure Partners, a holding company owned by four Cube IM managing partners and other members of the management team, as well as by the four managing partners directly.

Natixis decided to offload the unit as a result of changes in regulation – dubbed Basel III in Europe and the Volcker Rule in the US – restricting lenders’ ability to sponsor private equity funds, Cube IM said in a statement.

The buy-out’s completion clears the way for the firm to launch a successor vehicle to Cube Infrastructure Fund (CUBE), which reached its final close on €1.08 billion in 2010 while the firm was under the bank’s ownership.

CUBE II will follow a similar strategy and aim for a target comparable to that of its elder sibling, the firm said, with a first close expected “in the early months” of 2016.

Now fully invested, CUBE holds control or co-control stakes in mid-market companies operating in sectors such as energy efficiency, fibre optic and public transport. It seeks to grasp growth opportunities offered by deregulation and consolidation trends in markets where efficiency improvements are deemed a public necessity.

CUBE counts 23 limited partners from Europe and North America. These include US pension Maine Public Employees Retirement System, Swiss-based Partners Group and German asset manager YIELCO Investments, according to Infrastructure Investor Research & Analytics.