Sweden’s middle way

Infranode has launched what it claims is the first long-term infrastructure investment platform based in Sweden. The firm has Skr1.45 billion (€160 million; $200 million) in initial commitments.

The platform will invest in “assets with essential characteristics suitable for a buy and hold strategy with a 20-plus year investment horizon”. The focus will be on mid- and small-cap brownfield and greenfield deals in the transport, regulated utilities and social infrastructure sectors.

Based in Stockholm, Infranode will have a primary focus on the Nordic markets but will also consider opportunities in the rest of Europe in partnership with investors in those jurisdictions. Outside the Nordics, only minority investments will be considered.

“Infranode has been set up through a Swedish legal structure and a fee structure based on long term alignment with its investors that steps away from the private equity model,” said founding partner Christian Doglia in a statement. “As such, Infranode aims to position itself as a sustainable partner for the public sector’s infrastructure investment plans.”

Doglia was previously a senior executive at Swedish computer software firm IBS, a role which encompassed corporate finance and M&A as well as business development and legal issues. Fellow Infranode founding partner Philip Ajina was a senior adviser to the Swedish Export Infrastructure Fund and project development & investment manager at Nordic Airport Properties, a public-private partnership joint venture company.

The establishment of “platforms” as a purportedly lower cost, better-aligned alternative to the private equity model appears to be gathering momentum. Existing examples include the Pensions Infrastructure Platform in the UK, whose first fund has raised £330 million (€420 million; $531 million); and Switzerland’s IST3 Infrastruktur Global, which launched with CHF300 million (€248 million; $313 million) in July this year.