Danish pensions seed ‘unique’ $1bn African infra fund

The fund is being led by the new infrastructure investment arm of A.P. Moller Holding and will be open for institutional investors over the next 12 months.

A trio of Danish pensions have seeded a new Africa Infrastructure Fund that aims to garner commitments of up to $1 billion.

PKA, PensionDanmark and Laegernes Pension have backed the fund with an initial $550 million, alongside the vehicle’s manager, AP Moller Capital, a new firm established to invest in emerging markets infrastructure.

The 10-year fund is looking to make 10-15 investments and will seek further funding from other institutional investors over the next 12 months. A spokeswoman for AP Moller Capital told Infrastructure Investor it would be targeting deals in the energy, power and transmission sectors, in addition to investments in road, rail and airports. 

Kim Fejfer, chief executive of the firm, added to Infrastructure Investor that the fund would target returns in the “high teens” and would seek projects with “some level of maturity”, rather than pure greenfield.

The vehicle is seeking to invest mainly in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Morocco, Ethiopia and Senegal.

Torben Möger Pedersen, chief executive of PensionDanmark, hailed the fund as “a unique opportunity” and said there is already a “promising pipeline” of potential investments.

“PKA has for many years invested in infrastructure in Denmark and abroad,” added Peter Damgaard Jensen, managing director of PKA. “We have good experience with investments in Africa and we have long wanted to invest more in the continent. Many African countries are [seeing] positive development with high growth, a young population and increasingly stable political systems. But lacking capital and a lack of solid infrastructure investments, we see good opportunities to both help promote the development and get a good return for PKA’s members.”

AP Moller Capital is an affiliate of AP Moller Holding, which has $20 billion under management and owns 40 percent of Danish conglomerate Moller-Maersk. It is led by Kim Fejfer, former chief executive of APM Terminals, a unit of AP Moller-Maersk. He has been joined by former APM colleagues Lars Reno Jakobsen and Joe Nicklaus Nielsen, as well as Jens Thomassen, previously a director in Denham Capital’s power and renewables team.