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Exclusive: InfraVia seeks to diversify investor base

With Fund II now about 60% deployed, the French manager has a third fundraising in its sights.

Paris-based InfraVia is looking to expand its limited partner (LP) address book as it sets the scene for a fresh fundraising exercise in the near future, according to top executives at the infrastructure fund manager.

With its second vehicle now close to two-thirds invested, InfraVia hasn’t started marketing a new fund yet but is already sounding out interest for a successor. “We aim to raise a bit more capital than we did for Fund II, but not so much more that LPs wonder whether we will be able to deploy,” said Bruno Candès, a partner at the firm, during an exclusive interview with Infrastructure Investor.

InfraVia closed its latest vehicle on €530 million, ahead of a €400 million target, in January 2014. The vehicle was bigger in size than the firm’s maiden fund, which was raised in 2008-2009 and closed on €200 million. It also drew its capital from a broader investor base, which evolved from being purely French to pan-European.

But the launch of a third fund may mark yet another step for the firm. “The vehicle has strong traction in Europe, and we could raise Fund III solely from European LPs. But we’re considering diversifying our investor base internationally,” said Vincent Levita, Infravia’s founder, chief executive and chief investment officer.

The duo confided that they are currently talking to a number of Japanese and Australian institutions as well as US and Canadian LPs.

A new fund may also see a greater role for potential co-investors, with Levita asserting that the nature of InfraVia’s portfolio now makes it easier for such rights to be exercised. As the firm seeks to consolidate its existing assets, he said, “there’s more room for co-investors to enter. I’m wondering if we shouldn’t industrialise this a bit more for Fund III.”

Fund III will nonetheless strive to keep to the firm’s current strategy, which focuses on mid-cap, core-to-core-plus assets. “Our view that adding value pre- and post-acquisition is key, developed during the credit crunch, is all the more valid in a market where liquidity is plentiful,” Levita said.

Originally named OFI InfraVia, the firm was founded in 2007 with the backing of French mutual insurance group OFI. Having gained independence from its early sponsor upon raising its second fund, it is now owned by its management team.

Read more about InfraVia’s fundraising plans and investment strategy in the keynote interview of our July/August print issue