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Quaero Capital holds first close of European Infrastructure fund at EUR50m

Geneva-based Quaero Capital has completed the first close of its European Infrastructure fund, with EUR50 million of commitments.

The dedicated private equity fund, a French-domiciled 'Fonds Professionnel de Capital Investissement' structure, invests in small to mid-sized project finance transactions in the transport, social infrastructure, telecom, utilities and energy sectors across Europe, via both greenfield and brownfield assets.
 
The fund is offered to institutional investors only. It is run by an experienced Geneva-based team led by Sébastien Bourget as Head of Quaero Infrastructure.
 
"The first closing of the fund represents an important milestone, allowing us to take advantage of the promising project finance opportunities we have had in our pipeline since launch,” says Bourget. “Investors will be able to access attractive yield and recurring long term cash flows, while benefiting from the robust structures of the Infrastructure asset class. Our investments also offer a degree of protection from inflation. It is a compelling risk-return combination.”
 
The ultimate target for the fund is EUR200 million.
 
Infrastructure as an asset class is attractive to many institutional investors because of the combination of long term financial commitment, shared risk and social benefit. Quaero Capital CEO Jean Keller said, "Most European governments are trying to ease the high levels of public debt, but must still meet the growing infrastructure needs of their economies and people. Private financing guided by public policy is a critical element of sustainable service provision, offering secure funding for essential development. Through specialist vehicles such as the Quaero European Infrastructure fund, the private sector takes the risk and efficiently uses and returns the capital.”
 
Europe is a major focus for infrastructure development, with structured transactions totalling US$46 billion in 2014. Further diversified growth is expected in coming years, with ongoing demand from mature countries in Northern and Western Europe as well as recovering economies in Southern Europe.
 
For investors, the European Union offers an established legal framework and strong financial commitment from development institutions such as the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The EU’s underlying growth trend is further supported by the Juncker Plan, which commits EUR240 billion in up to 2017 notably in strategic infrastructure projects.

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