French investment firm Ardian has raised more than USD 800m for its inaugural infrastructure fund dedicated to investments within the US and other OECD countries in the Americas, the firm announced on 15 May.
Head of Ardian Infrastructure Mathias Burghardt told Inframation that Ardian Americas Infrastructure Fund IV (AAIFIV) was originally intended to be a side vehicle to the Ardian Infrastructure Fund IV as an opportunity for existing European-based investors to get exposure to infrastructure investments in the Americas.
The vehicle eventually attracted enough interest for the side vehicle to become a stand-alone infrastructure fund. “Basically the demand went beyond our existing investors, and we found that a lot of new clients were interested, in particular US investors,” Burghardt said. “This was a surprise to us, and we quickly exceeded our target.”
The fund surpassed its original USD 500m target within six months of fundraising, with commitments from pension funds, insurance companies, and other institutions from North America, Europe and Asia.
Burghardt said the idea for the Americas fundraise originated from talks with long-term relationship large industrial partners in the infrastructure space. “We had a discussion – why don’t we do things together beyond Europe? And so that was the trigger, and we [completed] an investment with our European company, LBC [Tank Terminals], and that was the perfect asset for us.”
AAIFIV has so far made two investments, one of which was the acquisition of LBC Tank Terminals, a global operator of bulk liquid storage facilities with a significant US presence. The fund also partnered with Transatlantic Power Holdings to create Skyline Renewables, a joint venture which has finalized its acquisition of a 60MW wind farm in Texas called Whirlwind, as reported.
Burghardt said the fund’s investments will be driven by opportunities in the US, adding that the firm is also actively looking at Chile, Mexico, and Canada. He noted that the fund will primarily make brownfield investments that have considerable potential for post-acquisition value creation.