Asterion Industrial Partners' Fund II reaches EUR925m first close
Asterion Industrial Partners, an independent investment management firm focused on European infrastructure in the mid-market, has reached the first close of its second fund with a total EUR925 million of commitments.
Asterion Industrial Infra Fund II FCR was registered within Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) in February 2021, with a target size of EUR1,350 million and a hard cap of EUR1,500 million. Today, less than three months after being registered within the Spanish regulator, it has reached commitments of EUR925 million, accounting for c70 per cent of its target. With a similar target size to that of Fund I (which reached a final close of EUR1.1 billion in January 2020), Asterion will remain disciplined and consistent around its mid-market approach while continuing to partner with its Fund investors in co-investments.
As in Asterion Fund I, investors include pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, asset managers and insurance companies from across Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia, with a strong participation from the existing Fund I investor base so far. The Asterion team has also made a significant commitment to the Fund in keeping with its focus on strong alignment.
Asterion Fund II will have the same strategy as its predecessor fund, focusing on mid-market infrastructure investments in Western Europe and targeting the telecom, energy, utilities, and mobility sectors within its core focus markets of the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Using rigorous discipline on underwriting infrastructure risk and applying its industrial approach to value creation, Asterion will continue to seek attractive opportunities also in partnership with its Fund investors through co-investment as an important part of its strategy.
Asterion Fund II will have a strong focus on sustainability, derived from Asterion’s deep commitment to ESG and using the transformational power of investment to make a positive impact on society while delivering attractive returns to its investors. Asterion’s approach to ESG management is central to its strategy, from the underlying nature of the businesses in which it invests, to the way in which its active asset management is applied. Decarbonization, energy efficiency, energy transition, bridging the rural digital divide, diversity and inclusion, alignment of interests and shared success are important themes on which Asterion Fund II will be focused.
Asterion Fund II has recently signed its first investment in solar self-consumption company Barter Energy. In this way, Barter will become part of Asterion Fund II’s Energy Transition Solutions platform, focused on energy efficiency and energy transition investments across Europe. Barter Energy is a shared solar energy company which develops collective self-consumption photovoltaic plants in Spain within a favorable regulatory framework. The disruptive business model supplies final customers with renewable energy through local networks and expects accelerating investment over the course of the next years as the projects build-up.
Asterion will support Barter in its ambitious business plan to become one of the most relevant players in the sustainable energy market over the next few years. Barter will provide for solar installations on rooftops to then offer cost-effective electricity to nearby customers, creating solar communities that can access 100 per cent renewable energy without the need for personal investment. Barter's goal is to integrate electricity generation with local demand as well as additional electrical services in the future as they become economically viable. These complementary energy services will include electric vehicle (EV) sharing services, charging infrastructure, and energy storage, as sustainable energy adoption continues to expand in a move that accelerates both energy efficiency and the energy transition.
Asterion has announced the further expansion of the Asterion’s Industrial Advisor network with the inclusion of a fifth member, John Empson, who has officially become a part of the Asterion Industrial Advisory Board effective from May 2021. John will bring valuable financing, structuring and portfolio management insights to the Industrial Advisory Board and the Asterion Portfolio Management Committee.
Empson has over 35 years of experience in financing markets and Co-Heads the Private Credit business at CVC based in London. Empson was at JPMorgan for 21 years, where he led European leveraged debt capital markets before joining KKR in 2008 to lead the KKR International Capital Markets business for 11 years. While at KKR he correspondingly overlapped with Asterion’s Founding Partners and Silke Scheiber, Asterion’s Portfolio Management Committee chair. John was also formerly Head of European Capital Markets at BlackRock.
During his career Empson has helped structure and arrange some of the most complex financings across the European private equity and infrastructure space. John is an IC member at CVC for private credit and was formerly a member of the KKR Private Equity IC and Portfolio Management Committee in Europe. We are very happy to welcome John to the Asterion Industrial Advisory Board.
Winnie Wutte, Founding Partner of Asterion Industrial says: “we are very excited about these new developments and partnerships at this stage of Asterion’s evolution. We feel particularly proud to have been able to achieve these milestones in such a short period of time. We are very thankful to our investors for their trust and support and will continue to focus on delivering on our strategy.”