Edmond de Rothschild to seek at least €1bn as fifth fund launch nears

The French debt fund manager says it has had its ‘strongest first half of the year historically'’ in deploying BRIDGE IV.

Edmond de Rothschild is preparing to launch its fifth infrastructure debt fund this summer, targeting at least €1 billion, according to global head of infrastructure and chief investment officer Jean-Francis Dusch.

The French asset manager said it planned to launch BRIDGE V this year when it closed BRIDGE IV in January on €1.25 billion, having initially targeted €750 million. Dusch has now told Infrastructure Investor it will eye €1 billion for BRIDGE V “at a minimum”, although increases will depend on investor appetite.

“We need to look to see how investors approach credit,” he said. “I think infrastructure debt is resilient.”

Dusch added that the firm is likely to continue with the dual fund structure employed for BRIDGE IV. This saw it target €500 million for its senior debt strategy for energy transition assets and €250 million for junior debt deployment in the broader infrastructure space.

“I think previous investors have been happy with us and can see we are quick to capture any developments in the sector,” he said. “They know our portfolio is resilient, that we don’t have too many early refinancings and see the asset class is still attractive.”

Dusch said that Edmond de Rothschild has intensified its reporting to LPs during the crisis and explained why certain assets may be impacted and others not. He added that BRIDGE IV is “probably ahead of schedule in terms of deployment, with between 12 and 14 assets to be in the portfolio by the end of July”.

“We raised a lot of money last year and we had a lot of money to deploy, so Q1 was strong and Q2 even stronger,” he said. “We probably had our strongest first half of the year historically this year.”

The fund lent to assets across France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Scandinavia and the Baltics. Beyond its energy transition sub-fund, it has also backed assets in the rail, utilities and healthcare sectors.