JLIF adds two transport assets to portfolio

The listed fund has spent close to £49m of the £131m it recently raised to acquire Scotland's M6 (pictured) and another transport asset from John Laing. JLIF plans to buy a further seven assets from the developer.

The John Laing Infrastructure Fund (JLIF), a London-listed vehicle sponsored by developer John Laing, has added two new transportation assets to its growing portfolio.
 
The assets include Scotland’s M6 motorway and the LUL Connect (CityLink) project – a radio communications system developed for the London Underground – and cost JLIF £48.6 million (€57 million; $77 million) to acquire from John Laing. 
 
The purchases are part of a wider, nine-asset package JLIF is set to acquire from its developer sponsor and was one of the reasons the infrastructure fund tapped the market recently to raise close to £131 million. 

JLIF had originally intended to raise £155 million to buy the nine assets from John Laing as well as repay debt used in acquiring a 50 percent stake in Forth Valley Royal Hospital – the fund’s first third-party acquisition.
 
The new fundraising, while slightly short of target, has still allowed JLIF to increase in size by just under 50 percent to £428 million. That will make the fund eligible for the FTSE UK 250 Index – an index of the 250 largest listed companies in the UK – at the FTSE's quarterly review meeting in early December, JLIF said in a statement.
 
In an interview featured in the November issue of Infrastructure Investor magazine, David Marshall, one of the two co-heads of the fund, expressed his satisfaction at the fund's imminent inclusion in the FTSE 250:
 
“We launched at £270 million and hopefully after this capital raise we’ll be at £450 million and at that point, we will be eligible for the FTSE 250 – we’re actually on the reserve list and we might go in in December,” Marshall said cheerfully, before adding: “I think to go from launch to FTSE 250 in a year is quite a spectacular feat.”
 
JLIF has a long-term internal rate of return target of 7 to 8 percent.