Exclusive: DIF looking to sell Fund II

Existing investors could be among the parties interested in the 50-asset portfolio, which the Dutch firm hopes to value at about €700m.

DIF, the Amsterdam-based fund manager, intends to divest its second infrastructure vehicle next year.

DIF managing partner Wim Blaasse told Infrastructure Investor the firm was contemplating putting it on the market wholesale or splitting it in several entities, depending on market conditions. It hopes to value the 50-asset portfolio at around €700 million.

DIF Infrastructure II closed on €571 million in July 2010. It is fully invested in assets spanning public-private partnerships (PPP) and renewable energy.

The move would be similar to the sale of DIF PPP, its maiden infrastructure fund, to Aberdeen Asset Management (Aberdeen) last November. Aberdeen now manages the vehicle on behalf of Dutch pension administrator APG.

Blaasse and Allard Ruijs, a partner and head of investor relations at DIF, reckon the process will be met with much interest among institutional buyers at a time when demand for de-risked, cash-yielding assets vastly outstrips supply. Direct investors and funds of funds, they said, would likely consider the opportunity.

These could include some of Fund II’s existing limited partners, which comprise Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Industriens Pension, KBC Pensioenfonds, Pensioenfonds PNO Media, APG Asset Management, Stichting Pensioenfonds SABIC, Partners Group, Achmea, Atlantic-Pacific Capital and DSM Pension.

Blaasse said a public listing had also been considered, but that current market conditions and the lack of a strong growth upside – Fund II is already fully operational – did not make it a palatable exit option for the time being.

DIF in late September closed its fourth infrastructure fund on its revised hard-cap of €1.15 billion. It is currently progressing towards securing its first deal in Australia, having launched a new office Down Under in June this year.