Ardian, formerly AXA Private Equity, has announced the acquisition of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's interest as financial sponsor of F2i, a specialist in strategic infrastructure investments in Italy. The deal, which bolsters Ardian's collaboration with F2i, was closed yesterday in Milan.
Ardian, through its secondary fund expertise, has acquired units in the F2i Fund (F2i's first fund) with a total commitment of €150 million. As part of the transaction, Ardian will also acquire 9.9% of the F2i SGR's share capital, becoming a Sponsor for F2i. Ardian will also hold a seat on F2i's board.
The transaction strengthens the collaboration between F2i and Ardian and demonstrates Ardian's ability to offer secondary solutions to global banking institutions. It also demonstrates Ardian's ability to underwrite secondary transactions focused on infrastructure assets, a growing part of the market.
Today's announcement furthers F2i's investment in the infrastructure sector, which has been the firm's focus since the launch of its first fund. F2i is a leading Italian operator and has a strong track record of consolidation and development across different Italian infrastructure sectors. The deal also bolsters F2i's fundraising for its second fund, which has a final target of € 1.2 billion. The Secondo Fondo F2i (second fund) hold a first close in October 2012 with commitments amounting to € 575 million.
The total commitment of €150 million is equal to 15.9% of A Units and 8.10% of the total commitments of the First F2i Fund (€ 1.852 million).
F2i, acronym of Fondi italiani per le infrastrutture [italian funds for infrastructure], was established in 2007. Managed by CEO Vito Gamberale and by President Giuliano Asperti, F2i is the largest fund operating in Italy and one of the most important country funds in the world.