Infrastructure Investor Awards 2019: Europe

Which firms took home fund manager of the year? Deal of the Year? Plus deals in sectors like renewables and digital infrastructure.

Fund Manager of the Year, Europe

WINNER: InfraVia Capital Partners

InfraVia Capital Partners launched the InfraVia Growth Fund last year. The vehicle is targeting commitments of €300 million for investment in infratech opportunities and the French firm has hired three new partners to drive the strategy. InfraVia also partnered with French telecoms provider Iliad for the rollout of fibre to the home in France and signed a power purchase agreement with Google related to the 175MW Bjorkvattnet wind farm it owns in Sweden. It also sold its interests in Tramlinks to Aberdeen Standard Investments, realising its maiden fund.

SECOND PLACE: Asterion Industrial Partners


Equity Fundraising of the Year, Europe

WINNER: Ardian

Last year, Ardian raised the largest-ever infrastructure fund focused on the European market, exceeding its hard-cap to close on €6.1 billion. Ardian Infrastructure Fund V is believed to have attracted more than €12 billion of investor demand and is more than twice the size of its predecessor, which closed on €2.6 billion. It also attracted 125 different investors from every corner of the globe. The latest close brings Ardian’s total funds under management to $15 billion.


THIRD PLACE: Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

Debt Fundraising of the Year, Europe

WINNER: Rivage Investment

Paris-based asset manager Rivage Investment hit a €1 billion hard-cap for its third debt fund, REDI 3, in the latter half of 2019, achieving a 60 percent re-up rate. The remaining 40 percent came from outside France. REDI 3 will target investments in European senior secured, investment-grade infrastructure debt. It focuses on mid-size transactions in brownfield assets and has already invested in three projects. Rivage’s previous debt fund closed on €696 million in 2017, and 94 percent of investors in that vintage were French.

SECOND PLACE: UBS Asset Management


Deal of the Year, Europe

WINNER: Gatwick Airport (VINCI Airports)

VINCI Airports paid Global Infrastructure Partners £2.9 billion ($3.7 billion; €3.4 billion) for a 50.01 percent stake in London’s Gatwick Airport last year, representing an enterprise value of £8.5 billion and a 20x EBITDA multiple. The deal made VINCI Airports the world’s second largest airport operator with more than 240 million passengers a year in 12 countries. A total of 46 million of these passengers have been added by the Gatwick acquisition. Other airports in the French group’s network include Lyon-Saint Exupéry, Nantes Atlantique and Grenoble Alpes-Isère in France; Lisbon, Porto, and Madeira’s Funchal in Portugal; and Osaka Itami and Kansai International in Japan.



Renewables Deal of the Year, Europe

WINNER: East Anglia ONE (Green Investment Group)

Macquarie’s Green Investment Group acquired a 40 percent share in the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm for a little over £1.6 billion ($2.1 billion; €1.9 billion) while the project was still undergoing construction. Bought from ScottishPower Renewables, a subsidiary of Spain’s Iberdrola, it was the largest European offshore wind and renewable energy acquisition completed last year. The project is a 714MW development located off the UK’s Suffolk coast. GIG now supports close to 50 percent of total UK offshore wind capacity in operations or construction.

SECOND PLACE: John Laing Environmental Assets Group

THIRD PLACE: Talasol Solar Project

Digital Infrastructure Deal of the Year, Europe

WINNER: SFR fibre-to-the-home network (Allianz Capital Partners/Altice Europe/AXA IM/OMERS)

A consortium comprising Altice Europe, Allianz Capital Partners, AXA IM and OMERS completed one of the year’s biggest digital infra transactions with SFR’s fibre-to-the-home network. The deal implied an enterprise value of €3.6 billion. SFR is France’s largest alternative FTTH wholesale operator and has acted as a platform for subsequent acquisitions, most notably a €1 billion deal to acquire Covage, the country’s fourth largest fibre wholesale operator. The two businesses have a target of 5.4 million homes in the next four years.


THIRD PLACE: SSE Enterprise Telecoms

Energy Investor of the Year, Europe

WINNER: Mirova

Mirova closed Europe’s largest renewables energy fund in November, with €857 million of commitments. Prior to closing, the French firm teamed up with compatriot Engie and Spain’s Forestalia for a 342MW wind portfolio in Spain. It also bought a 33MW portfolio of small hydropower plants in Portugal alongside Engie and Crédit Agricole Assurances at an enterprise value of €2.2 billion. The hydroelectric portfolio has a generation capacity of 1.7GW and includes three newly commissioned pump storage units along with three recently repowered run-of-river plants.

SECOND PLACE: Partners Group

THIRD PLACE: Green Investment Group

Renewables Investor of the Year, Europe

WINNER: Mirova

Already winner of the Energy Investor of the Year award, Mirova also stole the crown for Renewables Investor of the Year. Its key achievements in 2019 included the final close of Eurofideme-4 on €857 million. The fund is already around €300 million invested, including capital deployed into a 342MW wind portfolio in Spain and a 28MW wind farm in Norway.

SECOND PLACE: Green Investment Group

THIRD PLACE: Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Transport Investor of the Year, Europe

WINNER: Meridiam

Meridiam partnered with Volkswagen to deploy a network of electric vehicle charging stations in 2019. The firm was also chosen – along with another partner, Munich Airport – in a long-awaited tender to manage the development of Sofia Airport in Bulgaria, which will see the pair invest €600 million in the hub. In addition, Meridiam acquired an 85 percent stake in two motorway concessions in Spain. The concessions manage 105 km of motorway in Andalusia, interconnecting Malaga with Guadiaro. The roads will incorporate new technologies to increase sustainability, such as switching lighting from sodium to LED lamps, and there are plans to include EV charging facilities.

SECOND PLACE: Vauban Infrastructure Partners


Digital Infrastructure Investor of the Year, Europe

WINNER: InfraVia Capital Partners

InfraVia Capital Partners kicked off the year with the acquisition of a majority stake in Celeste, a B2B superlist broadband provider in France that operates a 4,500 km backbone, as well as 2,500 km of capillary networks, allowing it to provide proprietary loop access to its clients in 430 cities across the country. InfraVia later partnered with Iliad Group to build out fibre to home networks outside densely populated areas. It also offloaded its Irish towers company, Cignal, to Cellnex in a €210 million deal. Cignal operates 546 sites across Ireland.


THIRD PLACE: Cube Infrastructure Partners