Asterion Industrial Partners, the new outfit established by former KKR infrastructure global co-head Jesús Olmos, has reached a €519 million first close for its debut infrastructure fund, four months after officially registering the vehicle in the Spanish market.
The milestone comes as Asterion clinches its first deal – a co-controlling stake in French utility group Proxiserve, alongside Paris-based fund manager Mirova. Proxiserve is a provider of energy services, including sub-metering, maintenance, heating and electricity.
In addition to energy and utilities projects, Asterion plans to invest in telecoms and mobility assets in France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK. It will also look selectively at other parts of Europe.
Its debut vehicle – Asterion Industrial Infra Fund I – got off the ground in November with a €300 million commitment from four cornerstone investors. It is targeting an €850 million final close by summer, with a €1 billion hard-cap. Its LPs include sovereign wealth funds, pensions and asset managers from Europe, North America and the Middle East.
The pan-European vehicle has a 10-year lifespan with two possible extensions. It aims to generate gross returns of 12-14 percent and an average yield of 5 percent.
Asterion has a 15-strong team headquartered in Madrid, as well as staff based in London and Paris. Its team includes former senior figures from Allianz, Telefónica and Endesa France, as well as two other KKR infrastructure alumni: Winnie Wutte, a former director at the firm and now a partner at Asterion; and Guido Mitrani, another former KKR director who will join as a partner in the coming weeks.
Olmos told Infrastructure Investor that the firm was looking to add a senior and junior hire by the summer.
“Our differentiator is in the name of the firm: we have a lot of industrial experience,” said Olmos. “We are consolidating a team with execution, structuring and industrial experience and I think that makes the difference.
“The market is very competitive now. That creates a need to develop business plans that are able to produce the returns investors are looking for. Being industrial is also how you can create proprietary business plans and know what to do with the asset: [how to] grow it and so on.”
Wutte said that this industrial experience made Asterion’s four cornerstone investors comfortable about committing their capital to the company even before a first deal had been struck.
“We might be a first-time fund but we are not a first-time team,” Olmos said. “In the case of Guido, Winnie and myself, we have been working together for over 10 years. But across the 15-strong team, almost everyone has a link to the three of us.”
Wutte also stressed the partnership model Asterion is pursuing with its investors, and pointed to the €120 million of co-investment generated for its first deal as an illustration of this. “It was a proof point for us,” she said.
Olmos said that in order to generate the returns in the mid-teens that Asterion’s investors are looking for, the company would invest in a mix of brownfield, greenfield and platform projects. He added that he was hoping to be able to provide dividends for LPs within the next 12 months.