Exclusive: Actis lowers infra fund target to $1.5bn

A longer-than-expected process convincing LPs to invest in emerging markets has delayed a first close for the Actis Long Life Infrastructure Fund, which has raised $400m to date.

Emerging markets specialist Actis has delayed the first close of its inaugural infrastructure fund and lowered the target for the vehicle to $1.5 billion, a source familiar with the matter told Infrastructure Investor.

The source said decreasing the fundraising target from $2 billion was done, in part, to allow for more co-investment opportunities, in which the London-based firm is seeing strong interest when it comes to emerging markets, while preserving an average ticket size of around $200 million.

Delaying the first close for the Actis Long Life Infrastructure Fund, which to date has raised $400 million, is due to a longer-than-expected process convincing limited partners used to infrastructure investments in developed countries of a low-risk strategy in emerging markets, the source continued.

Last March, Infrastructure Investor reported the firm expected to hold a first close for the fund on more than $700 million. Actis declined to comment for both stories.

The emerging markets specialist began raising the fund around a year ago in a strategy shift from a suite of energy-focused funds that have built platform companies in Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia. The firm is pitching the investment vehicle as an opportunity for LPs to gain exposure to low-risk assets in markets that aren’t as risky as previously perceived.

The firm has already begun deploying its inaugural infrastructure fund, seeding it with a 110MW solar project in Chile, the El Pelicano Solar Plant that will power Santiago’s subway system and which Actis acquired from SunPower in January.

Last year, the firm announced several large commitments from its fourth energy fund, which closed on $2.75 billion in 2017, as a continuation of its greenfield development strategy. Last April, Actis made its largest single acquisition to date after completing the purchase of energy developer InterGen’s Mexico portfolio for $1.26 billion.