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DIF starts raising €1.5bn Fund V as it eyes ‘core’ fund close

The Dutch manager is aiming for an end of May first close for Fund V and a summer final close for its maiden ‘core’ vehicle, which has already surpassed its €350m target.

Dutch fund manager DIF has started raising its fifth flagship infrastructure fund as it gears up for a summer final close on its debut Core Infrastructure Fund, launched in September, a source familiar with the fundraising told Infrastructure Investor.

DIF V is targeting €1.5 billion with a €1.75 billion hard-cap and will focus on the same regulated utilities, PPPs and renewable assets that the €1.15 billion DIF IV targets. The latter is now around 75 percent invested. It will also invest across the same geographies of Europe, North America and Australasia. The source predicted an end of May first close for DIF V, which is seeking to generate gross returns of circa 13 percent.

The flagship fundraise comes as DIF has amassed €370 million for its Core Infrastructure Fund, surpassing the vehicle’s original €350 million target. The 'core' fund has a €450 million hard-cap, which DIF expects to hit, according to the source, and reached a €215 million first close in January.

Unlike the flagship funds, the global core vehicle will target telecoms, unregulated utilities and energy storage assets as it seeks to generate gross returns of about 15 percent through brownfield and greenfield deals averaging €45 million. Willem Jansonius, now a partner at DIF, joined the firm to lead the new strategy. He was formerly head of Benelux and the Nordics at Macquarie Capital.

To date, DIF has raised about €3.5 billion across five funds, which have invested in more than 170 projects worth over €20 billion, according to its website. In addition, the Dutch manager has opened several new outposts in recent years and now counts 60 staff across offices in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Luxembourg, Madrid, Toronto and Sydney.