Eat and London Luton airport owner Ardian Private Equity closes the largest ever European infrastructure fund worth €2.65bn

Madeline Ratcliffe
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The firm said there had been an increase in interest from the US (Source: Getty)

Ardian, the French private equity house whose investments include restaurant chain Eat and London Luton airport, has closed its infrastructure fund with €2.65bn (£1.98bn) of investment.

It is Ardian's fourth infrastructure fund, and is the largest such fund raised by a European firm, surpassing Ardian's third fund by 50 per cent. Some €900m came from new investors.

The firm said it had seen an increase in the amount committed from the US in particular, which showed how attractive the European market was for international investors.

Ardian also predicted investment in the sector will be forced to adapt as more tech disruptors come along.

"Infrastructure will require more and more active asset management... due to the disruptive effect of technology."

Mathias Burghardt, head of Ardian Infrastructure said:

Raising a fund from such an internationally diversified group of investors indicates the dynamism of the European infrastructure market. Through Ardian Infrastructure IV, we will seek to invest in infrastructure assets that are essential for the community, particularly in the energy and transportation sectors, that will deliver long-term and reliable annual yields for investors.

Around €1bn of the new fund has already been committed to four investments: 2i Aeroporti, the largest airport holding in Italy; a joint investment with Ascendi in the second largest Portuguese toll-roll network operator Mota-Engil; buying Repsol’s stake in CLH, the largest Spanish and UK oil and storage transportation company; and Geosel, the French oil storage group acquired from Total.

The firm's infrastructure arm, which was launched in 2005, has around €7bn of assets under management, having invested €3.9bn across 22 assets.

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