EQT closes on €1.2bn

Nordic buyout outfit EQT Partners has smashed its initial €1bn target for the firm’s first infrastructure fund, EQT Infrastructure, with a close of €1.2bn.

EQT Infrastructure will invest primarily in existing infrastructure in Northern and Eastern Europe but will also have the flexibility to invest globally. Investments will typically be between €100m and €1bn in transaction size, and the fund holds an investment capacity above €5bn.

The fund is backed by international institutional investors including AP4, Skandia, Pantheon Ventures and Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company. EQT Infrastructure is the latest addition to the EQT fund family’s range of investment areas. The infrastructure team will be advised by EQT Partners and will be led by Lennart Blecher.

Potential investment targets include regulated/market-based basic infrastructure (gas pipelines, power generation assets, power transmission& distribution facilities and telecommunication towers), concession-based infrastructure (airports, toll roads, rail transportation, ports, waste, sewage and water treatment facilities), social infrastructure and infrastructure related services.

Head of EQT Partners, Lennart Blecher said: “EQT funds are known for driving industrial acceleration in portfolio companies with a hands-on ownership approach and using a clearly defined corporate governance model. The advising team will continue to build on that experience for EQT Infrastructure which, like the other EQT funds advised by EQT Partners, has a clear focus on operational improvement. We see EQT Infrastructure as a natural extension of the buy-out business and are convinced that the fund will be able to make an improvement and substantial contribution to the development of infrastructure in its target markets.”

Infrastructure is a new investment area for EQT. The firm’s existing funds have focused on equity, opportunity and expansion capital. The new fund will have access to the administrative support of EQT Partners. With the recent set-up of EQT’s Warsaw office the Nordic firm has been setting up a strategic presence in the CEE region, an area many believe to be one of the only regions that is resilient to the credit crunch.

EQT Infrastructure is based in Stockholm, Helsinki, Munich, Zurich and New York. The team of 16 investment professionals has the cumulative experience of more than 135 infrastructure transactions with an aggregated transaction value of over €65bn.