Exclusive: Amundi eyes €500m China renewables fund

The $1trn French asset manager, which also expects to close its debut European deal alongside EDF in December, could launch the vehicle within six months.

Amundi is mulling a tie-up with the Agricultural Bank of China that would see both partners raise a €500 million fund to invest in Chinese renewables, according to a top executive at the firm.

In an interview with Infrastructure Investor, Pedro Arias, Amundi’s head of alternative investments, said the vehicle could be launched within six months. The fund, which is pending Chinese regulatory approval, would be focused on operational assets.

The news comes as the $1 trillion asset manager is raising money for Amundi Transition Energétique, a joint venture it established in 2014 with French utility EDF that targets renewables and energy efficiency assets. Both are hoping to garner €500 million for the vehicle, which is yield-focused and has a maturity of 25 years. The partnership is 60 percent-owned by Amundi and 40 percent by EDF.

Arias said the joint venture was about to seal its first deal, a co-investment in France alongside an industrial partner. The firm expects to announce the transaction in December.

Both vehicles are part of Amundi’s efforts to boost its infrastructure platform to between €5 and €6 billion under management by 2020. The firm was so far investing in US infrastructure through separately managed accounts deployed into a selection of debt and equity infrastructure funds.

Amundi’s infrastructure strategies target unlevered returns of 5 to 7 percent, Arias said.

In September, Amundi gathered all of its real and alternative asset divisions under one roof to create a single platform with €34 billion under management. The move came after the firm received clearance from the French regulator to raise a renewables fund.