Natixis, CNP form €2bn infra debt partnership

The link-up is the second of its type for Natixis after it previously launched a similar platform with Ageas at the end of last year.

Natixis, the French bank, has established a partnership to co-invest in infrastructure debt with French insurance firm CNP Assurances (CNP).

The partnership will see Natixis originate and introduce new primary infrastructure transactions to CNP in accordance with investment criteria agreed between the two parties.

Following analysis by CNP’s credit committee, the insurer will select the deals it wants to invest in, which will be single deals worth between €50 million and €150 million per deal. Natixis will retain a “significant portion” of each deal on its balance sheet.

CNP is looking to build its portfolio of infrastructure debt up to a value of €2 billion over the next three years. The portfolio will be serviced and administered by Natixis.

Natixis is the corporate, investment and financial services arm of French banking group Groupe BPCE; while Groupe BPCE is one of four major shareholders backing Paris Bourse-listed CNP. The others are Caisse des Depots et Consignations, La Banque Postale and the French state.

In October last year, Natixis signed a similar arrangement with Ageas as the Belgian insurer announced it was looking to build a €2 billion infrastructure debt portfolio over a period of between two and three years.

In February this year, the first deal to arise from that partnership was sealed when Ageas provided a 30-year fixed-rate tranche as part of a €100 million loan put together by Natixis for a French prisons public-private partnership.

It was also recently revealed that the UK’s Lloyds Bank and its insurance arm Scottish Widows had entered into an infrastructure debt partnership, which was kick-started by Lloyds transferring more than £700 million (€823 million; $1.1 billion) of social housing association loans and £100 million of university accommodation loans to Scottish Widows.