Albion Capital holds first close of Real Assets Fund

Albion Capital, an independent investment manager, has held the first close of its new asset-backed private equity fund, Albion Real Assets Fund (ARAF). First close investors include the GBP9 billion Merseyside Pension Fund and several high net worth families.

ARAF is a continuation of Albion Capital’s successful asset-backed investment strategy and focuses on investing in operational businesses underpinned by assets with intrinsic value and working with proven management teams. Albion targets sectors with strong societal drivers that have resulted in substantial unmet demand for premium physical assets and infrastructure, and creates value by building a group of these assets.
ARAF’s first close enables Albion to invest in a series of investments, including fibre optic provider Grain Connect and a platform of wedding venues.  ARAF has further deals lined up in these sectors and others and is now focused on raising the remainder of the fund, including further support by Merseyside Pension Fund.
Grain Connect is the first investment by ARAF, contributing GBP10 million in equity finance to support the business in further development of its UK “full fibre” broadband network at new build home developments. Grain has already connected around 44 sites from Aberdeen to London to ultrafast broadband, with a further 300 sites in the pipeline, and partners with major housebuilders such as Taylor Wimpy, Barratt Homes, Keepmoat, and Story Homes.
The main contacts at Albion are David Gudgin, Partner, and Adam Chirkowski, Investment Director.  Adam Chirkowski, says: “Our long-standing experience in asset backed investing, which spans more than two decades, provides us with the expertise to identify exciting investment opportunities utilising physical assets and infrastructure to deliver attractive returns uncorrelated to traditional asset classes.
“ARAF’s initial investments in fibre optic broadband and wedding venues are similar in that we have been able to identify opportunities in strong, exciting niches and invest in order to grow them to scale. Building on our initial success, we will complete a second close to take further advantage of UK asset backed investment opportunities”