EISER raises €277m for second infra fund

The European infrastructure fund manager has just reached first close for its second fund. BNP Paribas contributed €100m with ABP and Greater Manchester pension fund also as investors.

EISER Infrastructure Partners has just reached first close on its second infrastructure fund, having raised €277 million from investors, chief executive Hans Meissner said on the sidelines of Infrastructure Investor: Europe in Berlin.

BNP Paribas contributed €100 million for EISER's second vehicle with Dutch pension fund ABP and the Greater Manchester pension fund also investing in it, sources told Infrastructure Investor. Meissner did not comment on the identity of the fund's limited partners.

EISER is targeting a final close of about €1 billion for the 12-year vehicle, similar in size to the €1.1 billion EISER raised for its first fund in 2005. Meissner said he expects further closes for the firm's second infrastructure fund this year, but said it was too early to comment on timings.

He did say, however, that the fund manager's first vehicle is now fully invested. The fund owns 11 assets including George Best Belfast City Airport, several gas transportation assets in Italy, toll roads in Spain, and schools projects in the UK, among others. The portfolio has a combined enterprise value of over €3 billion, according to the EISER website.

Meissner said he has been approached to sell some of these assets, but while he is looking at exit strategies for the fund's portfolio, he said he is not in a hurry to sell and will only do so for the right price.

EISER was part of Belgian banking group Fortis. When Fortis suffered massive write-downs at the end of 2008 on account of the US sub-prime crisis, the Belgian and Luxembourg governments asked French bank BNP Paribas to take over Fortis, and the fund found itself part of BNP Paribas, the parent sponsor of Antin Infrastructure Partner's €1.1 billion infrastructure fund. In January 2010, the firm completed its management buyout from Fortis and rebranded as EISER Infrastructure Partners.