Edmond de Rothschild backs new energy transition strategy

The Paris-based private equity firm is helping to raise €200m for projects focusing on renewables, energy efficiency, water and waste management, and recycling.

Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity will be adding a new infrastructure strategy to its lines of business, as it seeks to raise €3 billion over the next three years across several asset classes.

The firm, which is the private investment arm of the French asset manager and private bank, aims to help raise €200 million for what it calls ‘environmental infrastructure’, a term that encompasses energy transition, water cycle management, waste management and recycling.

The fund will come from its partnership with Pearl Infrastructure Capital, established last year, which invests in renewables, energy efficiency, water treatment and waste management for large industrial groups and municipalities in Europe. The Pearl team – whose senior partners have decades of experience at French blue chips like Veolia and Suez – has been working together for 15 years, having delivered over 100 environmental projects worth some €2.7 billion.

EdR has a minority stake in Pearl and will contribute money to the vehicle, in addition to marketing it among its clients, a spokeswoman for the firm told Infrastructure Investor. A first close is expected in September, backed by French, US and European investors.

According to a presentation, the new fund will focus on majority stakes in mid-sized projects with capex requirements of between €25 million to €100 million. It can do both greenfield and brownfield, with the former set to encompass 60 percent of its investments.
EdR invests in private equity through partnerships. In infrastructure, the firm has been working alongside TIIC, a transport infrastructure investment company supported by Brisa, Millenium BCP and La Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild, since 2006.

In 2018, the firm is also planning to launch a second vintage of its luxury hotel fund; a UK fund that will focus on soil remediation and the rehabilitation of polluted industrial sites; a high-growth tech fund; a pan-European real estate fund; and a hybrid fund-of-funds combining primary, secondary and co-investments.

Bruno Alves contributed reporting to this story.