DIF holds €1bn final close on CIF II – exclusive

Five investments have already been made from its second core vehicle, with US and Canadian opportunities increasing since the first vintage.

DIF Capital Partners has reached a final close on its Core Infrastructure Fund II, raising just over €1 billion.

The Dutch manager has more than doubled the €450 million raised for the first vintage of the series in November 2017. The strategy targets investments in the telecoms, energy and transport sectors through partnerships with corporates. It is eyeing gross returns of over 15 percent, while its flagship fund series targets gross returns of between 12 and 14 percent.  

LPs in the fund are predominantly European with a substantial German contingent, Allard Ruijs, partner at DIF, told Infrastructure Investor, while about 10 percent of investors are from North America.

The fund has made five investments to date, with three in the telecoms sector: UK-based broadband operator 4th Utility, French fibre group IELO and Valley Fibre in Canada. The fund’s other deals, including European freight rail operator Touax Rail, make the vehicle about one-third committed.

We’re now buying more platform companies to further build out [rather] than investing in assets. That’s been one of the main evolutions since CIF I,” Ruijs said.

There are also geographical and sectoral evolutions since the first vintage.

“We’re now ramping up in North America. US and Canada are very important markets,” said Willem Jansonius, who leads the CIF strategy for DIF. “Also, in the covid period, telecom infrastructure has become much more active than it was before, especially compared to traditional energy side and parts of transport. That has really played to our advantage.”

DIF remains in market for its maiden debt strategy, which is seeking €1.1 billion through senior and junior sub-funds. Its most recent flagship vehicle, DIF Infrastructure VI, reached a final €3 billion close last October.