Macquarie holds $530m first close on CIS fund

The Macquarie Renaissance Infrastructure Fund reached the first close after the Russian State Development Bank committed $200m to a special purpose vehicle that will invest in infrastructure projects alongside the fund. The fund is targeting total commitments of $1bn, Macquarie said in a statement.

The Macquarie Renaissance Infrastructure Fund has reached a first close on $530 million, according to a statement by one of the fund’s managers, Australian investment bank Macquarie Group.

The fund, a joint venture between Macquarie and emerging market-focused investment bank Renaissance Group, is said by the managers to be the first private equity fund targeting infrastructure projects in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member countries.

Those countries include the 12 former Soviet Socialist Republics such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

The first close was reached when the Russian State Development Bank, known as Vnesheconombank, committeed $200 million to a special purpose vehicle that will invest in infrastructure projects alongside the fund. The special purpose vehicle will be jointly managed by Macquarie and Renaissance.

Other investors include the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank, which has committed $100 million to the fund, as well as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which also committed $100 million. Macquarie and Renaissance each made commitments of $50 million and the Kazakh development institution Kayna Capital Management made a $30 million commitment, which will increase to $50 million once the fund’s commitments top $750 million.

Macquarie said it aims to continue to raise capital during 2009 and 2010 and is targeting total investor commitments in excess of $1 billion.

The fund is headed by Macquarie executive director Andrew Cowley, who also co-chairs the fund with Renaissance deputy chairman Bob Foresman.

The firm’s executives are now evaluating a “strong investment pipeline” and “further opportunities are anticipated”, Macquarie said.