DIF VI reaches €3bn final close – exclusive

The Dutch manager's latest flagship fund exceeded its target by more than €500m after raising its hard-cap earlier this month, as it looked to accommodate new investors.

DIF Capital Partners has reached a final close on its sixth flagship infrastructure fund, raising just over €3 billion.

The Netherlands-based manager closed DIF Infrastructure VI more than €500 million above its target of €2.5 billion after extending its €2.75 billion hard-cap earlier this month to accommodate new investors. Those LPs came from jurisdictions new to the firm, Allard Ruijs, a partner at DIF, told Infrastructure Investor. It held a €1.4 billion first close in March, having launched the vehicle towards the end of last year.

Ruijs added that 75 percent of the fund’s investors came from Europe, with other key commitments from North America and Asia. LPs from outside Europe made up about 15 percent of the vehicle’s €1.9 billion predecessor, which closed in May 2018. Ruijs said it had a 100 percent re-up rate in terms of capital committed by existing investors. One of the later LPs to invest in the fund was the Los Angeles County Employees’ Retirement Association, which disclosed a €150 million commitment this month.

“Our track record gives us extra momentum in these times, especially if you look at the re-up rate,” explained Ruijs. “People have gone to parties they know well. We’re seen as a safe investment.”

DIF Infrastructure VI targets investments in PPPs, energy, renewables and utilities. About 20 percent of the fund has already been invested. It has made two deals in Canada, with acquisitions of renewable energy platform BluEarth Renewables and a stake in a 900MW natural gas-fired power project. It has also acquired stakes in Norte Litoral and Via do Infante, two availability-based toll roads in Portugal. Ruijs said that between 50 and 60 percent of the fund’s investments once fully committed will be in Europe, with the remainder in North America, South America and Australasia. The fund targets a gross IRR of about 12 percent-14 percent.

DIF remains in the equity market with its Core Infrastructure Fund II strategy, which reached a €450 million second close in May, ahead of its €1 billion target. It also recently launched its first debt fund, which is targeting a total of €1.1 billion via two sub-funds.