Exclusive: Mitsubishi in first close for Japan fund this month

The country’s debut core infra fund is targeting $450m, with about three-quarters to be raised at first close.

Mitsubishi Corporation is launching a closed-ended core infrastructure fund – the first of its kind in Japan – with a target size of 50 billion yen ($450 million; €380 million) by the end of this month, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The new fund is expected to reach its first close on around 35-40 billion yen, supported by domestic institutional investors, by the time it is officially launched. A Nikkei report mentioned Mizuho Bank, local pensions and Private Finance Initiative Promotion Corporation of Japan among the investors in the fund.

Mitsubishi Corporation declined to comment on the launch.

Sources told Infrastructure Investor the vehicle should hit a second close early next year, given strong appetite from yield-hungry Japanese investors. It has a 12- to 18-month fundraising period and a hard-cap of 100 billion yen.

Mitsubishi has set up a GP to manage the fund, which targets operating transport, energy and utility assets in Japan. The fund looks to deliver a single-digit annual cash yield. It is understood the investment team is working on several mid-market deals, but the fund has yet to invest in any assets.

The vehicle marks the first major infrastructure fund targeting Japanese core infrastructure. There are already several funds investing in Japanese solar power facilities.

Mitsubishi Corporation is a Tokyo-based general trading company with its business interests in a wide range of sectors on a global basis. The group invests in and operates infrastructure assets, including power plants and transportation facilities across the world, and is active in the fields of new energy and environment-related businesses.