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Suffolk County plugs £60m as Infracapital hits first close

The UK pension has joined the EIB as one of the greenfield fund’s largest investors, bringing the vehicle closer to its £1bn target.

A £60 million ($73.4 million; €69.6 million) investment by the UK’s Suffolk County Council Pension Fund has helped Infracapital reach a £500 million first close on its greenfield fund.

Suffolk County’s investment in the vehicle, which targets £1 billion, was confirmed this week at the pension fund’s committee meeting. It had been considering the investment since meeting Infracapital’s greenfield director Andy Matthews towards the end of last year.

According to the pension fund, the Infracapital vehicle is targeting “mid- to high-teen returns” and has invited other local government pension schemes in the UK to invest in the fund. It is not known whether such schemes have made other commitments to date. Infracapital declined to comment.

The investment by Suffolk County is among the largest the Infracapital fund has received so far, although it was topped by the £100 million pledge made by the European Investment Bank. A £50 million contribution has also been received from the pension scheme of Spanish insurer LagunAro while about £27.5 million in seed capital was provided by Prudential, Infracapital’s parent group.

The fund has so far invested close to £300 million, sources told Infrastructure Investor. One of its most recent deals is the acquisition of telecoms network operator Alcatel-Lucent Poland from Nokia, while other deals include a stake in a hospital portfolio in Italy and a joint venture with solar developer Amarenco, set to form one of the core assets in the fund.

It is also understood that the greenfield vehicle is keen to add transport investments to the portfolio, which is currently spread across the energy, telecoms and PPP sectors. The fund was officially launched in February last year and was seeded with some of Infracapital’s existing greenfield assets, as it looks to back about 12 further projects or companies.

Additional reporting by Matthieu Favas