French private equity firm Ardian has held the final close of its Infrastructure Fund IV on €2.65bn, the first infra vehicle since its spin-out from insurance group Axa two years ago.

Around €1bn of the fund has already been invested through four acquisitions Ardian made last year, including Italian 2i Aeroporti in April, Portuguese toll-roll network operator alongside Ascendi in July, a stake in CLH, a Spanish and UK oil and storage transportation company in September and French strategic oil storage business Géosel also in September.

Fund IV was backed by pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds from Europe, Asia and a considerable number of US LPs whose interest in European infra investments seems to have grown.

The existing LP base in the new vehicle exceeded the Fund III size, while new investors accounted for more than €900m. Ardian, then Axa Private Equity, raised €1.75bn for its third fund in March 2013.

Dominique Senequier, president of Ardian, said: “Closing a fund which surpasses the size of its predecessor by 50 per cent is a huge achievement for the Ardian Infrastructure team.

“The speed at which this process was conducted demonstrates the market recognition of the team, whilst the amount re-committed by existing investors lies as a testament to the performance of our Fund III.”

With the latest fund Ardian Infrastructure now has total assets under management of some $7bn.

Fund IV is also the largest infrastructure fund in terms of size raised by an European firm, Ardian said.

As with itss previous infrastructure pools, the firm will target assets that are essential for the infra community across Europe, working alongside major industrial partners.

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