DIF III posts €320m first close, will target Canada

The Dutch fund manager is more than halfway to its final target of €600m after just four months on the fundraising trail. The firm has also announced that the fund will explore selective opportunities in Canada in addition to DIF’s traditional hunting ground of Europe.

Defying the headwinds blowing in the Eurozone, DIF – the Schiphol, Netherlands-based infrastructure fund manager – has announced a €320 million first closing for its Fund III, which has a €600 million final target and a €750 million hard cap.

Infrastructure Investor exclusively announced that DIF had started to approach investors for the third fund in November last year, but it was not formally launched until January, when the private placement memorandum was issued.

“We are particularly pleased to have achieved a strong level of commitment for this first close in a relatively short time; especially given the current market where fundraising is challenging,” said DIF managing partner Wim Blaasse in a statement.

The same statement revealed that Fund III will reach beyond DIF’s current focus on Europe to the Canadian market. The firm said it will be able to “source new projects with its existing European sponsor relationships already active in the country, as well as invest in a developing secondary market”.

DIF III will follow the firm’s two previous funds by targeting long-term stable cash flows through public-private partnerships (PPPs) and renewable energy projects. The fund will target both primary and secondary opportunities in order to generate both yield and capital growth.

DIF’s second fund, which achieved a final close on €571 million in September 2010, is now 90 percent-invested. The first fund closed on €121 million in 2006, and the firm also raised a €134 million renewable energy fund in 2008.