DIF eyes €300m third close on second infra fund

The Dutch infrastructure manger held a second close in August on Dutch Infrastructure II after collecting €220m and is looking to hold the third close by the end of October. New investors include Dutch life insurer Achmea and Swiss alternative asset manager Partners Group.

Fresh after marking a second close on €220 million for its second infrastructure fund, Dutch infrastructure manager DIF is eyeing the end of October for a third close on €300 million.

DIF Infrastructure II had collected €220 million by 20 August, according to a person familiar with DIF. New investors include Dutch life insurer Achmea and Swiss alternative asset manager Partners Group, according to a statement.

Partners Group recently also backed another infrastructure fund, Paris-based Cube Infrastrucure, which is heading toward a second close of more than €500 million on its debut infrastructure fund.

DIF is seeking €500 million for the fund, which has a hard cap of €750 million in total commitments. Its first close last October was on about €168 million, the person said.

DIF has so far invested about €100 million of the committed capital in the fund, the person said. Most recently, the firm invested €50 million in a UK schools private finance initiative project and a portfolio of six onshore wind parks in Germany.

The firm is on-track to have about €150 million invested by year-end, the person said.

DIF follows a strategy of actively investing in the secondary and primary markets for infrastructure assets. In the secondary market, the firm routinely buys stakes in concession-type public-private partnerships (PPPs) from infrastructure developers who wish to exit their positions after developing the assets. In the primary market, the firm invests directly in infrastructure assets that are yet to be built, often referred to as “greenfield” projects.

DIF’s first infrastructure fund, DIF PPP, closed on €150 million in 2006 and is now fully invested. DIF also manages a separate renewable energy fund, DIF Renewable Energy, which is also fully invested.

The fund focused on renewable energy projects in Europe, primarily on-shore wind.

DIF was founded by entrepreneurs Maarten Koopman and Menno Witteveen, who, together with former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Wim Blaasse formed the management team of DIF in 2005.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, it also has offices in France, the UK and Germany. It has a total of 23 people across those offices.