Exclusive: EQT to launch Fund III in Q2

The Swedish firm, which postponed an attempt to raise a core infrastructure vehicle earlier this year, will be aiming to collect between €2.5bn and €3bn.

Stockholm-based EQT is looking to start raising capital for its third flagship infrastructure fund in the second quarter of 2016.

EQT Infrastructure Fund III will have a target of between €2.5 billion and €3 billion, sources with knowledge of the firm told Infrastructure Investor. EQT is currently sounding out interest from potential investors, they said, adding the vehicle hasn’t been formally launched yet.

The news comes a few months after the firm postponed efforts to raise a core infrastructure fund, sources said. EQT launched the open-ended, yield-focused vehicle before the summer, hoping to raise several billion euros over time for the new venture.

The core fund was meant to act as an underwriting platform, whereby EQT would first originate and buy the asset before syndicating the equity among limited partners. The firm declined to comment on both its core and flagship fundraising efforts.

EQT reached a final close on its second flagship infrastructure fund on €1.92 billion in January 2013, above its original €1.5 billion target.

The vehicle is backed by both Nordic investors and institutions from further afield. They include the Alaska Permanent Fund, Danica, DB Private Equity, Folksam, Ilmarinen, KEVA, Lancashire County Pension Fund, New Mexico Educational Retirement Board, NTUC Income, Pantheon, Quartilium, Quentin Ayers, Skandia, Varma and VER, according to Infrastructure Investor Research and Analytics.

EQT’s been busy deploying Fund II this year, with purchases including a Norwegian port and a California-based laundry service.

It is also looking to sell Germany’s EEW Energy From Waste (EEW), sources said, with a consortium of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) and local utility Steag said to have submitted a bid for the business earlier this autumn.

China’s Enterprises Water Group, China Everbright International and Beijing Capital Group are also said to be looking to buy the asset, which sources value at up to €2 billion. MIRA declined to comment, while the other parties cited couldn’t be reached for comment.

EQT originally invested in EEW in March 2013. It bought the 49 percent of the business it did not already own in May this year.