Fiera Axium closes Canada fund on C$460m

The fund manager has closed its first Canadian infrastructure fund a year after reaching first close on C$175m. The fund will target Canadian brownfield and greenfield projects and has already acquired three assets.

Fiera Axium Infrastructure has successfully closed its first Canadian infrastructure fund on C$460 million (€341 million; $467 million).
 
The Canada-focused infrastructure fund headed by former SNC Lavalin, Babcock & Brown and Macquarie professionals, reached this final milestone one year after it announced a first close on C$175 million. The vehicle will target greenfield and brownfield assets across Canada in the transport, energy and social infrastructure sectors.
 
Fiera’s Canadian vehicle managed to attract a diverse group of Canadian public and private pension schemes as well as other institutional investors, the fund manager said in a statement. According to Stephane Mailhot, president and chief operating officer of Fiera Axium Infrastructure, this “reflects the strong confidence institutional investors now have in the Canadian infrastructure sector”.
 
Bruno Candes, vice president and senior investment director at the firm, previously told Infrastructure Investor that Canada has a “huge and very deep institutional market that wants to get exposure to infrastructure”.
 
Although big Canadian pensions are well known for pioneering direct investments in infrastructure, Fiera created its Canadian fund to give other pensions a route to access Canada’s infrastructure market. “On the [right] hand, I have this big pool of institutional money that wants to invest in infrastructure,” Candes said, “and on the left hand we have this dealflow. There isn’t a market of [fund] managers who are connecting the two,” he added.
 
To date, the fund has already invested in three Canadian assets. They include the CHUM Research Centre, in Montreal; the Sea-to-Sky highway, serving the Vancouver-Whistler corridor in British Columbia; and the Anthony Henday Drive Southeast Leg Ring Road project, part of a ring road in Edmonton, Alberta.
 
Fiera Axium Infrastructure is headed by Pierre Anctil, former president of SNC Lavalin, the Montreal-based engineering and consulting firm. Other professionals at the fund include ex-Babcock vice president Juan Caceres and ex-Macquarie vice president Frédéric Brassard.