Meridiam, CNP launch €400m energy transition fund

The two French investors are targeting insurance companies to finance innovative clean energy projects.

Two French companies, Meridiam Infrastructure and insurance provider CNP Assurances, are targeting €400 million from European institutional investors to finance innovative clean energy projects.

The Meridiam Transition Fund aims to fund development-stage projects that can transition Europe to a low-carbon economy. It is a partnership between Meridiam, an infrastructure asset manager with a €3.5 billion portfolio, and CNP, an insurance company with €560 million invested in the green economy and €1.6 billion invested in private equity.

The fund will invest for up to 20 years to fully finance smaller projects and co-invest in larger projects in France and the European Union. The focus is on greenfield projects including energy efficiency, local energy services like heating networks and energy-from-waste recovery, power and gas grids and innovative renewable energies.

Thierry Déau, Meridiam’s chief executive, told sister publication Low Carbon Energy Investor this fund is a “club deal amongst insurance companies”. Though the fund is seeking broad institutional investor support, Déau said the Meridiam Transition is an initiative where “CNP is leading the insurance companies”.

“As an institutional investor, we believe that it is both our responsibility and in our interest as a long-term player to contribute to developing new financing models to respond to the challenges of energy transition and climate change,” Frédéric Lavenir, CNP’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Meridiam, known for its long-term investment strategy, has invested in 44 infrastructure projects. It closed a €300 million fundraising effort in October for a vehicle that will focus on projects in Africa that include a solar farm, airports and university facilities.

This article was first published on Low Carbon Energy Investor, Infrastructure Investor’s sister publication focused on global energy transition markets.