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AXA IM – Real Assets raises EUR730 million at initial closing of first infrastructure debt fund

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AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets has launched Infrastructure Finance SCS-SIF – European Infra Senior 1, its first co-mingled pan-European infrastructure debt fund.

The fund has which raised an initial EUR730 million, from five institutions.
 
European Infra Senior 1 seeks to provide institutional investors with defensive and stable income by investing into a diversified portfolio of core infrastructure project financing across pan-European markets. The fund will target predominantly senior secured debt investments in the infrastructure (transportation, telecom, social) and energy (including renewables) sectors with a preference for brownfield assets.
 
The team will continue to apply the same principles that have prevailed throughout the growth of AXA IM – Real Assets’ private debt platform in that the fund will co-invest alongside existing mandates managed by the infrastructure finance team of AXA IM – Real Assets, increasing the ability to deploy significant commitments and to participate in large transactions.
 
European Infra Senior 1 will source opportunities from both the primary and secondary markets. Its fee structure has been designed to reward the selection of assets which will perform over time rather than to incentivise origination volumes. 
 
AXA IM – Real Assets has capped the size of the fund to EUR1.5 billion and will continue to monitor the volume of capital raising to ensure a complete focus on delivering performance for its investors.
 
AXA IM – Real Assets has currently invested EUR3.1 billion in infrastructure debt, spread over more than 35 different transactions, and via a combination of private and public instruments. The current portfolio is well balanced across several countries comprising France (25 per cent), the UK (24 per cent), the Nordics (17 per cent), Germany (11 per cent); as well as underlying sectors, primarily transport and energy.
 
European Infra Senior 1 is a further addition to AXA IM – Real Assets debt platform, which currently has EUR12.7 billion of assets under management.
 
Isabelle Scemama (pictured), head of funds group at AXA IM – Real Assets, says: “The successful launch of European Infra Senior 1 with an initial EUR730 million of capital raised underlines the increasing appetite amongst institutional investors for access to a diversified portfolio of tier-one quality infrastructure loans, which are able to deliver longer-term stable income-driven returns in a low interest rate environment, whilst also being in line with our 360-degree approach to investing. The size of both this newly launched fund and our wider debt platform enables us to access high quality, large and complex deals, providing a competitive advantage and better relative value for the benefit of our clients.”
 
Florence Dard, head of client group france at AXA IM, says: “Our European Infra Senior 1 fund targets institutional clients seeking regular income in a low interest rate environment, and access our co-invest platform. Opening our infrastructure debt platform to third party clients enabled us to reinforce our relationship with major institutional investors, whether insurance companies or pension institutions. They have been attracted by the proven track record of our investment team as well as the robustness of AXA IM – Real Assets’ debt platform.”

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