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Finnish insurance firm adds to Infranode’s Nordic war chest

LocalTapiola’s SKr200m contribution has brought the Swedish manager closer to its final target of Skr4bn, expected to be reached later this year.

Swedish fund manager Infranode has boosted its Infranode I investment platform with the addition of SKr200 million ($22.2 million; €20.6 million) from Finnish insurance company LocalTapiola.

The investment comes as Infranode revealed plans to open an office in Helsinki within the next few months, describing the Finnish infrastructure sector as “a critical market”. Between €36 billion and €56 billion of the Nordics’ €200 billion infrastructure backlog over the next 10 years is accounted for by the Finnish market, it said.

“In Finland, Infranode aims to become the preferred ownership partner for public and private small and mid-sized infrastructure assets,” said Aleksi Rajakaski, the firm’s Finland director. “We want to bridge the gap between the appetite for essential infrastructure from the Nordic institutional investors and the need for public and private sectors to find professional, long-term ownership partners with capital to finance the present investment need into infrastructure.”

LocalTapiola’s contribution brings Infranode’s fund to Skr3.55 billion after it garnered SKr900 million from the European Investment Bank and Swedish pension funds Folksam and KPA Pension in February. The fund, which launched in 2014, is targeting a final close of Skr4 billion later this year. Its sole investment is Swedish district heating company Vasa Varme, which it bought in March 2016.

LocalTaipola’s most notable infrastructure investment came in December 2013 when it bought a 7.5 percent stake in Suomi Power Networks, the Finnish electricity distribution network of Fortum. The investment was made alongside Borealis, First State and Finnish pension fund Keva, for €2.5 billion.