Meridiam raises $750m for North America fund

The French infrastructure investor – fresh from closing its second, Europe-focused infrastructure vehicle on €935m – is targeting a final close of around $1bn this summer for its North America fund.

Meridiam Infrastructure, the French infrastructure fund manager, has managed to raise around $750 million for its dedicated North America fund as it heads toward a final close this summer around the $1 billion mark, sources familiar with the fundraising told Infrastructure Investor.

The North America-targeted fund, known as Meridiam II North America (MNAII), is one of two new vehicles the French fund manager has been fundraising since it debuted in the infrastructure space in 2008 with a €600 million, Europe and North America-focused infrastructure fund.

Last week, Meridiam said it had reached final close on the Meridiam II Europe (MEII) infrastructure fund at €935 million with “significant capital […] raised from new investors,” which allowed the fund manager “to expand and diversify its investor base with a total of 30 pension plans, insurers and multilateral institutions from Asia, Australia, Europe and North America”.

MEII, like Meridiam's first €600 million vehicle and MNAII, is a 25-year fund targeting greenfield public-private partnership (PPP) projects. About a third of its capital came from re-ups from existing investors like the European Investment Bank and original sponsors Credit Agricole and AECOM.

At the closing announcement for MEII, Meridiam also signalled that co-investment is now a bigger part of its strategy, announcing that it has set up a co-investment group with six institutional investors from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia “to commit additional co-investment capital to support individual projects and investments of up to $1 billion when necessary”.

Another important development for the fund manager is that it is now fully controlled by its partners and employees, including founder Thierry Deau, Joseph Aiello and Julia Prescot, to name a few. Meridiam, while always operationally independent, was originally sponsored by Credit Agricole Private Equity in 2006.