DIF III in first deal since final close

The fund, which beat its hard cap with an €800m close last month, has invested for the second time this year in a French solar portfolio.

DIF Infrastructure III, the third fund to have been raised by Dutch fund manager DIF, has acquired a 35 percent stake in Solaire Durance, a 34-megawatt (MW) portfolio of four operational ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in the south-east of France.

DIF has acquired its stake from Solairedirect, an integrated solar power operator, which will continue to hold a 15 percent stake in Solaire Durance. CDC, the French fund manager, will also continue to have an unspecified stake in the portfolio having been an original shareholder alongside Solairedirect.

The plants were developed and built by Solairedirect and have been operational for around two years. Solairedirect will continue to manage the operation and maintenance of the plants.

For DIF III, the deal represents its second foray into the French solar PV sector this year. In January, it acquired 85 percent of a 22.6MW portfolio of 11 plants from Green Yellow, a subsidiary of French supermarket chain Casino. The plants were to be installed on the rooftops and parking lots of Casino supermarkets in the south of France.

DIF III closed on €800 million towards the end of March, beating a €750 million hard cap. DIF has raised €1.6 billion of equity since inception and invests in public-private partnership (PPP)/Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and renewable energy assets in Europe and North America.