Fiera Axium buys stake in Canadian wind project

The Toronto fund manager partnered with members of the Desjardins Group to acquire a 30% stake in the Saint-Robert Bellarmin wind project in Québec.

Fiera Axium Infrastructure, together with entities of the Desjardins Group and Desjardins’ defined benefit pension plan, has acquired a 30 percent equity interest in the Saint-Robert Bellarmin wind project from EDF EN Canada, according to a statement.

Fiera Axium did not disclose financial details of the transaction.

Developed by EDF EN Canada, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, Saint-Robert Bellarmin is located in the province of Québec and has an aggregate generation capacity of 80 megawatts (MW). The project has been in operation since 2012 and sells power to Hydro-Québec Distribution under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

EDF EN Canada and Enbridge maintain ownership positions in Saint-Robert Bellarmin of 20 percent and 50 percent respectively, while another EDF Energies Nouvelles subsidiary, EDF Renewable Services, will continue to provide operations and maintenance services to the project.

“We look forward to working in partnership with EDF EN Canada and Enbridge in order to deliver clean and sustainable energy to the Province of Québec,” Fiera Axium Infrastructure vice president and senior investment director Juan Caceres said.

The Toronto-based fund manager made its portion of the acquisition through Fiera Axium Infrastructure Canada II, which along with Fiera Axium Infrastructure US feeds into the North America Fund, whose combined total currently stands at C$740 million (€523.7 million; $675.2 million).

“The North America Fund expands Fiera Axium’s geographic focus beyond Canada to include the US, while remaining dedicated to investments in both operational and late-stage greenfield development opportunities in core energy, transportation and social infrastructure assets,” a Fiera Axium spokesperson told Infrastructure Investor.

To date, Fund II has a diversified portfolio of more than 40 Canadian and US assets across the energy, transportation and social infrastructure sectors, the spokesperson added.

Canada II’s predecessor, Fiera Axium Infrastructure Canada which closed in February 2011 on C$460 million, is now fully invested or committed in 23 Canadian infrastructure assets.

This marks the second investment made through the Canada II fund in Québec. In October 2013, a consortium led by Fiera Axium Infrastructure reached commercial and financial close on “Horizon Justice Sorel Tracey,”a C$174 million public-private partnership prison deal.

Fiera Axium Infrastructure, jointly controlled by Fiera Capital Corporation and Axium Infrastructure Management, invests in core infrastructure assets. Fiera Axium manages dedicated infrastructure funds having approximately C$1.2 billion in total assets under management.