Meridiam closes second, Euro-focused fund on over €935m

The French fund manager has closed its second infrastructure fund, raising €300m more than it did for its first infrastructure vehicle, which closed in 2008. Meridiam is said to be still fundraising for its $1bn North America-focused fund, which is scheduled to close in summer.

Meridiam Infrastructure, the French infrastructure fund manager, has reached final close on its second, European-focused infrastructure fund, law firm SJ Berwin, which advised Meridiam on the fundraising, said in a statement.

According to SJ Berwin, Meridiam raised over €935 million for its second vehicle, known as Meridiam Infrastructure Europe II, which gives the French fund manager more than €2 billion in funds under management. The 25-year fund will target greenfield public-private partnership (PPP) projects across the continent.

Meridiam closed its first infrastructure fund in 2008, for which it raised €600 million, targeting investments in Europe and North America. For its second fundraising outing, the fund manager decided to raise separate vehicles for Europe and North America. Meridiam is still raising its dedicated $1 billion North America infrastructure fund, with sources suggesting it will have that fundraising wrapped-up by summer.

A spokesman from Meridiam did not want to comment on SJ Berwin’s announcement, adding only that Meridiam would release its own press statement soon. But a source close to the fundraising explained the amount referred to in SJ Berwin’s announcement is not yet the final closing amount, considering that certain funds being raised through a number of sub-vehicles have yet to come through.

The source did not specify which sub-funds he was referring to, but one of them could be the Meridiam Infrastructure Eastern Europe Fund – focused solely on PPP projects in Central and Eastern Europe and, to a lesser extent, Turkey – which Meridiam set-up to be able to receive up to €100 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

That sub-fund was necessary because the EBRD cannot invest in Western Europe, to which the main fund, Meridiam Infrastructure Europe II, is exposed.

Meridiam has been active on the deal front, most recently winning its second-ever Spanish deal – a €1 billion road PPP contract, together with Spanish developers Acciona and Cintra. Earlier this year, the same team also bagged another Spanish road contract.

Towards the end of last year, Meridiam closed two deals: a design, build, construct, finance and maintain contract for a 53-kilometre stretch of highway in southern Finland; and the Nottingham Express Transit Phase Two project, involving the construction of new tram lines in the English city.