GIMV, Dexia raise €100m infrastructure fund

GIMV, Belgium’s largest private equity firm, and Dexia Bank have launched a €100m infrastructure and real estate fund.

Antwerp-based GIMV and Dexia Bank, a specialist in public finance, have teamed up to target infrastructure investments in transportation and energy sectors, as well as real estate construction and public-private partnerships.

GIMV, the largest private equity firm in Belgium, and Dexia, the fifteenth largest bank in the Eurozone, have revealed plans to raise €100 million ($134 million) for an un-listed fund focused on infrastructure and property. The fund will primarily target projects in the Benelux region.

In a statement, the pair said each would contribute 20 percent of the equity to the vehicle and added that there was “clear interest by institutional investors for this type of investment.”

GIMV and Dexia said it would seek to invest in water, schools and roads, as well as more innovative, value-added investments in areas such as renewable energy and waste management. They also said the vehicle would also invest in both primary and secondary transactions with an enterprise value of at least €20 million.

Private investors are raising mega funds to invest in the infrastructure sector, despite fears of an  bubble partly stoked by a perception that high prices are being paid for assets. Investors are drawn to the asset class because of the secure income streams many infrastructure assets can provide.

Earlier this month, New York- and London-based Alinda Capital Partners announced it had raised $3 billion (€2.3 billion) for its debut infrastructure fund. The new fund will invest in public sector and energy infrastructure assets in North America and Europe. In May, Citigroup’s alternative asset management arm launched an infrastructure investment platform that looks to cash in on increased private sector involvement in infrastructure projects.

Dexia estimates future deal-flow for the vehicle to be “substantial”.

“The timing is considered to be ideal to set up this infrastructure and real estate construction fund in order to take advantage of the opportunities that arise in this market,” the firms said in the statement.

Dexia was created with the alliance in 1996 between two major European players in local public finance, Crédit Local in France and Crédit Communal in Belgium. It has subsidiaries in 26 countries.