UBS struggles to gather fundraising momentum

The Swiss manager has raised $380m out of the $2bn it is targeting for its second infra vehicle, after more than two years on the road.

UBS Global Asset Management has collected at least $379.9 million for its second infrastructure vehicle, according to an SEC filing.

This represents less than a quarter of the $2 billion it is aiming to collect for UBS International Infrastructure Fund II, which was officially launched last year but has been marketed to investors for at least 25 months, according to Infrastructure Investor’s Research & Analytics division.

The fund has a higher target than UBS’s maiden infrastructure fund, which closed in 2008 on $1.52 billion. Its only publicly known limited partner is the £1.88 billion (€2.38 billion; $3.21 billion) Cambridgeshire County Council Pension Fund.

UBS declined to comment.

The vehicle, which accepts minimum commitments of $20 million, targets direct investments in transportation, utilities, energy and social infrastructure assets in OECD countries.

UBS initially mooted a launch in 2009 following the success of the fund’s predecessor, which received strong backing from long-term institutional investors including pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. LPs in Fund I include Development Bank of Japan, Australia’s Future Fund, Devon County Council Pension Fund and the Western Conference of Teamsters.

A 15-year, unlisted vehicle, Fund I had already bought stakes in US power generation business Northern Star Generation, UK water company Southern Water Services, and European waste manager Saubermacher when it reached its final closing.

It has since deployed further capital in Njord Gas Infrastructure, an offshore gas transmission system in which it holds 82 percent (the balance belongs to France’s CDC Infrastructure), and Collgar Wind Farm, a $750 million, 256-megawatts (MW) plant in Western Australia.

The slow progress experienced by UBS underscores the contrasting fortunes of funds currently in the market. While firms like France’s Antin and energy-focused First Reserve managed to close multi-billion infrastructure funds earlier this year, CVC Capital Partners, which launched a dedicated vehicle with a $2 billion target in 2008, abandoned efforts to set up an infrastructure unit last month.