First State Investments announced in May that its fund, the First State European Diversified Infrastructure Fund (EDIF), will be commencing its fifth and final round of fund raising in June, targeting a further €300 million to €500 million.
EDIF is a core infrastructure fund managed by First State Investments targeting high quality euro denominated utility and transportation investments. In September 2013 the fund closed its fourth Series after raising over €600 million bringing the fund's total commitments to €1.3bn. The fund aims to exceed its target size of €1.5 billion with a cap of €2 billion.
Philippe Taillardat, Partner, Direct Infrastructure at First State said:
"From closing Series four in September 2013, we have efficiently deployed 70% of new capital in just six months. Our investors have been pleased with the pace at which we achieved this and the quality of the underlying investments."
Most significantly, EDIF demonstrated its ability to effectively deploy capital into new, high quality assets by acquiring 100% of Ferngas Nordbayern, a 2,100km regulated gas distribution network in Germany (financial close 20/12/13) and forming and leading the consortium that acquired 100% of Caruna (formerly Fortum Distribution Finland) for €2.55 billion (financial close 24/3/14). This was the largest European infrastructure transaction announced in 2013.
Every asset in the fund continues to outperform its investment case resulting in strong fund level performance. Since inception the fund has delivered an annualised net total return in excess of 12% including a net cash yield of over 6%. With this foundation, the fund is now positioned to continue to outperform the market benchmark in its fifth and final Series.
Mr Taillardat remarked:
"We believe that a key component of EDIF's success has been its unique fund structure which has gained momentum with institutional investors seeking transparent governance, efficient capital deployment, access to a cash yielding portfolio and limited blind pool risk."
He further commented on the transition into the 5th Series:
"We are excited to enter the final Series of EDIF which is scheduled to run from June to November. Our pipeline looks promising and we are pleased with the volume of interest we have received from both current and prospective clients in Asia, Canada and Europe."
First State Investment's EDIF team forms part of the Australian based Colonial First State Global Asset Management global infrastructure business that manages in excess of A$4.5 billion in core/core plus infrastructure investments.