Cube Infrastructure Managers has announced the first closing of Cube Infrastructure Fund II (Cube II), securing a total of €358.5 million (US$400.6 million) in capital commitments.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is contributing €100 million (US$111.7 million) to Cube II under the Juncker Plan to support the Fund Manager’s “Buy-Grow-&-Hold” investment strategy, citing the team’s high Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) standards as being one of the attributes that first brought the opportunity to their notice.
Other investors participating in the first close, include Cube Infrastructure Fund’s (Cube I) investors and strong support from new European investors, notably French and German, and North American, notably Canadian, investors.
Cube II’s fundraising was formally launched earlier this year, following completion in December 2015 of the Management Buyout of Cube Infrastructure Managers, which is now wholly owned by the Cube Infrastructure team, from Natixis.
Cube II is incorporated as a closed-ended SICAV-SIF in Luxembourg and registered with the CSSF with a target- size of €1.2 billion (US$1.34 billion).
Cube II’s objective is to generate a combination of current yield and long-term capital appreciation through investments in regulated, brownfield infrastructure assets, addressing the essential infrastructure needs of local public authorities, primarily within the European Union, with a “Buy-Grow-&-Hold” strategy. Cube II will focus on growth infrastructure markets and leverage on the experience of Cube I, investing notably in energy supply (including district heating, gas and electricity supply, energy efficiency), fiber communication and public transport. These markets offer sustainable growth principally driven by deregulation and/or market consolidation needed to improve the efficiency of infrastructure & public services.
The EIB financing represents a major step forward to support brownfield infrastructure investments that are able to generate significant growth through subsequent greenfield contract wins with European local authorities.
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said:
“Thanks to the Investment Plan for Europe (also known as the Juncker Plan), EIB is able now to support new routes for financing infrastructure assets in Europe. CUBE II represents an innovative strategy which aims at developing small to medium size infrastructure operators which are delivering essential infrastructure services in Europe. This investment will support the growth of medium size companies, enhancing competition and quality of service and contributing to the achievement of EU priority objectives in the energy, transport and communications sectors."
The Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen, said:
"The Cube Fund is a perfect example of the success of the Investment Plan. It will finance projects in sectors such as energy efficiency and digital, it is cross-border, and it has attracted global investors. This is why we today announced that we will increase the Investment Plan's firepower and extend it beyond 2018".