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InfraVia makes first move into smart meters

The firm is paying about €100m for OSB, a subsidiary of French utility Suez, in its third deal with the €1bn fund it closed in October.

InfraVia has acquired Ocea Smart Building, a company that rolls out and operates smart meters across France, from parent group Suez.

The move marks the Paris-based firm's first investment in the sector, which Vincent Levita, founder and chief investment officer of InfraVia, sees as an area of growing investment potential in a period of “energy transition and digital transformation”.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but Infrastructure Investor understands it was valued at around €100 million. InfraVia declined to comment.

The deal is the third sealed by the firm through its third fund, which closed last October on its revised hard-cap of €1 billion.

The first was Next Generation Data, a Welsh-based data centre that the firm bills as Europe's largest. InfraVia backed the asset in July in a deal that sources valued then at about £100 million ($123 million; €118 million).

The firm also invested in Alkion, an oil storage platform. Like OSB, InfraVia aims to grow the asset through bolt-on acquisitions.

Smart meters have recently made their appearance on infrastructure investors' radars. In July, the US's Alinda and London-based Hermes paid £209 million to delist Energy Assets Group; in December 2015, Infracapital was among the financiers that supported Calvin Capital's plan for a £1 billion smart meter roll-out.