CVC in first close for €2bn infra fund

The private equity outfit has reached a first close on more than €200m after three years on the fundraising trail. CVC is currently teamed with Goldman Sachs and USS in the race to acquire Veolia's UK water assets.

CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm, has reached a first close on its maiden infrastructure fund, market sources told Infrastructure Investor.

The close was on more than €200 million, with a small cadre of investors hailing from Europe, Canada and Asia backing the milestone. However, it is unclear whether Dutch pension provider APG Asset Management, rumoured some time ago as one of the fund’s cornerstone investors, ended up participating in the first close.

CVC started fundraising for its debut infrastructure vehicle, originally said to be targeting €2 billion, in 2009.

While CVC has recently been involved in several high-profile infrastructure acquisitions – including the purchase of a 15.5 percent stake in Catalan developer Abertis and 25 Spanish hospitals – the deals were funded from its private equity funds.

But the firm’s debut infrastructure offering may be on the cusp of clinching a first deal. As reported this week, CVC is part of a consortium comprising Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners and UK pension Universities Superannuation Scheme that is shaping up to be the sole bidder submitting binding bids for the UK water assets of French group Veolia Environnement.

The other two consortia in the running – a pairing of Deutsche Bank spin-out iCON Infrastructure and Canadian pension PSP Investissements and a team of AXA Private Equity, Infracapital Partners and the South Korean National Pension Service – are not planning to submit binding bids next week.

Veolia's UK assets – which include Veolia Water Central, Veolia Water Southeast and Veolia Water East – have a regulated asset base (RAB) of around £1 billion (€1.2 billion; $1.6 bilion). A source following the deal believes the assets will not fetch a premium much higher than 15 percent of the RAB.