EIB plugs €40m into Quaero infra fund

The bank has also pledged an additional €62.5m to a broadband deployment programme supported by the Swiss firm, which was known as Argos Investment Managers until October last year.

The European Investment Bank has committed €40 million of equity to the Quaero European Infrastructure Fund.

The EIB said the pledge comes as part of its Investment Plan for Europe, which aims to catalyse private capital into European infrastructure projects.

The fund, managed by Swiss investment firm Quaero Capital, targets both greenfield and brownfield assets in the social infrastructure, transport, telecoms and energy sectors. Having held a first close on €50 million last year, it has now raised more than €150 million. It has a €250 million hard-cap.

The fund’s main investment so far is a 27 percent stake in a project to connect 370,000 homes, shops and businesses across the French region of Alsace to a superfast broadband network. The programme is also supported by developer NGE Concessions, network operator Altitude Infrastructure, the Marguerite Fund and Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.

The plan has received €62.5 million of debt from the EIB, an investment the bank is making in addition to its participation in the Quaero fund.

“The EIB's participation in our fund sends a strong signal to the market. It reaffirms our strategy of financing the construction of new infrastructure, which will require substantial investment in Europe over the coming years,” Sébastien Bourget, Quaero Capital’s managing partner for infrastructure, said in a statement.

Quaero was known as Argos Investment Managers until October last year. It has SFr600 million ($604.5 million; €553.8 million) of assets under management.