JLIF to tap market for up to £240m

The listed fund manager will use proceeds to buy a new portfolio of three PPP projects and refinance existing bank debt.

London-listed John Laing Infrastructure Fund (JLIF) is getting ready to tap the market for up to £240 million (€285 million; $374 million), it announced in a statement today. 

The fundraising is aiming for a minimum of £100 million, with JLIF saying it plans to use proceeds to acquire a portfolio of three operational UK and Canadian public-private partnership (PPP) projects, as well as refinance existing bank debt. 

The projects include two hospitals and one education PPP and will be purchased from developer parent John Laing and the John Laing Pension Trust, taking JLIF’s total portfolio to 52 assets. John Laing, which owns a minority stake in JLIF, said it doesn’t plan to participate in the fundraising unless the issue is undersubscribed. 

JP Morgan Cazenove is the sole sponsor and bookrunner for the issue, which opens today. Results will be announced on October 3. 

In a recent conversation with Infrastructure Investor, partner Andrew Charlesworth pointed out that “there’s now roughly a 50/50 split in terms of our assets that have been sourced from John Laing and third parties, since the initial IPO [initial public offer] portfolio”. 

JLIF was initially formed to buy assets from UK developer John Laing and had a “first offer” agreement with John Laing with respect to future deal opportunities. Its first batch of assets was a collection of 19 projects across the healthcare, transport and street lighting sectors, predominantly in the UK, acquired from its developer parent. 

As recently as last autumn, JLIF was pointing out that it was eyeing a pipeline of more than £350 million in assets from John Laing over the next three years. As it turns out, though, 2012 ended up being a turning point for JLIF, with Charlesworth highlighting that over 70 percent of the fund’s acquisitions by value since the start of last year have been sourced outside its exclusive deal with John Laing. 

Charlesworth, however, was at pains to stress that JLIF has “no intention of dissociating ourselves from John Laing”.