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Exclusive: Colonial First State in $500m fundraise

The Sydney-based asset manager is looking to build a portfolio of renewables and water assets in Australia and Europe.

Colonial First State Global Asset Management, known as First State Investments outside of Australia, is raising $500 million of fresh capital from international investors for its Global Diversified Infrastructure Fund (GDIF). 

This is the fourth round of fundraising for the nine-year-old open-ended fund, which is expected to close by next March, according to sources familiar with the matter. First State declined to comment. 

GDIF, which currently has a size of $1.2 billion, is in the process of deploying capital raised from its last fundraising effort, which concluded early this year. The firm garnered $550 million in the third round thanks to pledges by 10 Canadian institutions and investors from Japan, Gulf and Australia. The vehicle has deployed 80 percent of the capital, according to sources. Its portfolio includes Manu pipeline and Vector Gas, two gas pipeline networks in New Zealand.   

The Sydney-based asset manager is now targeting assets in the renewables and water sectors in Australia and Europe, the sources said. The fund, which currently has no exposure to renewable energy, is interested in de-risked solar and wind projects secured with long-term power purchase agreements. It aims to build a portfolio of assets with equity investments of about $100-150 million. 

GDIF’s mandate allows it to invest in core and core-plus assets in OECD countries. The fund has already invested in airports, water utilities, electricity transmission assets and gas pipelines in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.