Exclusive: Conquest hits €115m first close on renewables fund

The firm hopes to reach a €500m final close by the end of next year.

Luxembourg-based asset manager and advisory firm Conquest has held a first close on its European renewable energy fund at €115 million, Infrastructure Investor has learnt.

The Conquest Renewable Yield Europe vehicle has collected commitments from large European insurers, smaller pension funds and global energy corporations, according to Conquest Managing Director Frederic Palanque. The fund will invest in OECD renewable energy assets, focusing on brownfield solar and wind portfolios in Western Europe.

Palanque said the fund, launched around September last year with a €500 million target, is aiming to hold a final close by the end of 2018. He added that the fund is a 20-year buy-and-hold strategy, but the firm could exit investments as early as 10 years. Conquest has set management fees below 0.9 percent and an internal rate of return target “significantly above” market average, Palanque said without disclosing the exact figure.

Conquest's fund focuses on the renewable energy sector in Europe in a bid to provide “opportunities for less correlated, inflation-linked and long-term yielding revenues” that institutional investors find attractive in the low government bond yield environment, according to a statement.

“Infrastructure real assets, such as renewable power assets, offer this unique long-term predictable and sustainable cash-flow profile,” Palanque said. “The fund is also crafted to offer the necessary exit flexibility, for the ones requiring an earlier arbitration.”