Meridiam to seek €300m with reopening of Africa fund – exclusive

Plans to expand the LP base to more institutional capital beyond the current DFIs would bring the fund to just over €500m.

French fund manager Meridiam is planning to add a further €300 million to its Meridiam Infrastructure Africa Fund with the reopening of the vehicle, Infrastructure Investor understands.

MIAF was launched by Meridiam in 2015 with a €300 million target, although it would later close below the mark on €205 million. Commitments largely came from development finance institutions such as the European Investment Bank (€30 million), the UK’s CDC Group (€30 million) and the US’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation ($50 million).

The 15-year fund is now being reopened to attract a further €300 million and bring the fund’s total size to just over €500 million, a source told Infrastructure Investor. The existing LPs are believed to have agreed or to be in the process of agreeing to re-up their investments, with more private institutional capital being sought to top up the capital raising. The proceeds of the fundraising are expected to be deployed as follow-on investments into the fund’s existing assets as well as in new investments.

MIAF has agreed or completed 10 investments including €215 million in Madagascan airports, Senegalese solar projects, a port in Gabon and a biomass project on the Ivory Coast. It is also part of a $2 billion Ethiopian geothermal deal. The fund has largely invested in greenfield projects with majority or significant minority stakes.

Meridiam declined to comment on the fundraising process.

Meridiam’s Africa operations are led by chief operating officer Mathieu Peller, who is supported by a team of investment directors. The company has offices in both Senegal and Ethiopia.