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BNP fund taps renewed interest in infrastructure

Record number of funds seek cash; Debt appetite returns

Antin Infrastructure Partners, the BNP Paribas-backed infrastructure fund, achieved its second closing on December 18 last year, taking the fund to half of its target size of €1 billion. BNP Paribas has invested €300 million in the fund – €150 million through BNP Paribas SA and €150 million through Cardif Insurance. Other investors put in €215 million in a fundraising that took nearly a year.

"The European market simply does not have 20 mega deals a year, so many European funds are coming back to the $1 billion size"

Alain Rauscher, Antin

Alain Rauscher, Chief Executive, Antin Infrastructure Partners, the BNP Paribas-backed infrastructure fund

"We launched in January 2009 but to say that the fundraising environment was difficult is an understatement," says Alain Rauscher, chief executive at Antin. "We were faced with investors telling us to come back in six months once they had counted their losses."

Antin Infrastructure Partners was set up in 2008, with BNP Paribas taking a 40% stake. It focuses on infrastructure opportunities in continental Europe, although it did invest in Porterbrook, a UK rolling-stock company, in October 2008 (increasing its interest to 20% in the fourth quarter last year).

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