F2i secures €3.1bn as first fund merges with third

Commitments from PSP and GIC helped the Italian group sign on a first close and it expects to increase the vehicle to €3.3bn in early 2018.

Italian infrastructure fund manager F2i has sealed a €3.1 billion first close on its third fund, seeding the new vehicle with assets from its maiden fund.

The group secured over €1.7 billion from the 11 main investors in its first vehicle, comprised of two Italian pension funds, five local banking foundations, Ardian, Intesa Sanpaolo and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

A further €1.4 billion has been committed by international investors including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, asset managers and insurance companies, ahead of an expected close early next year on €3.3 billion. Canadian pension scheme PSP and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund are understood to have each invested €450 million, although F2i declined to comment.

The new 12-year fund has merged the assets of F2i’s first fund, which closed on €1.8 billion in 2009 following its launch in 2007. These include holdings in gas distribution company 2i Rete Gas, a number of Italian airports, renewables group EF Solare Italia, water company Iren Acqua and toll road operator Infracis.

Both the first F2i fund and the second €1.2 billion vehicle – currently 75 percent invested – have so far only invested in Italy. However, chief executive Renato Ravanelli indicated this could change in the latest offering.

“The goal was to raise new capital to continue the development, both in Italy and abroad, of the sizeable infrastructural holdings put together to date by F2i’s first fund, which had drawn on all of its commitments,” he said. “The response of investors has been extremely positive.”

The first fund has delivered a gross internal rate of return above 12 percent, F2i confirmed. The third fund will target a similar figure.

F2i’s second fund has this year focused on consolidating the fragmented Italian telecoms market, acquiring Infracom, MC-link and KPNQwest Italia alongside the Marguerite Fund. It has also boosted its presence in the Italian wind and biomass industries.