Allianz Global Investors has made a £500 million ($635 million; €569 million) bond investment into the M6 toll road, the UK’s only pay-to-use motorway.
The investment, set to be announced today, comes after Melbourne-based IFM Investors bought a majority stake in the debt of the asset on Monday. A group of 27 banks, including Crédit Agricole, Commerzbank and Banco Espirito Santo, had taken control of the road in 2013 following a debt restructuring deal with Macquarie.
AllianzGI’s investment, which spans 32 years, sees it invest on behalf both of clients from the Allianz Group and third-party investors. The latter include the firm’s debut UK debt fund and separately managed accounts. The UK’s Pension Protection Fund is one known investor in the transaction, which represents its first deal through AllianzGI’s infrastructure debt platform.
The transaction brings Allianz’s UK debt fund, closed on £265 million in 2015, to full deployment. The firm is set to launch a successor later this year, expecting to raise between £250 million and £500 million, “in line with strong client demand”, it said in January.
“This transaction is particularly noteworthy for AllianzGI as it represents the culmination of over a year’s work by a large number of our team working from both Paris and London,” said Adrian Jones, portfolio manager at AllianzGI.
AllianzGI’s UK debt fund, a first for a firm which largely invests third-party money through separately managed accounts, was targeted at smaller UK pensions which lack scale and resources to invest more directly in infrastructure.