Natixis IM’s infrastructure finance arm is ready to deploy €2.2 billion of dry powder after a number of investors signed sizeable mandates to invest in the fast-expanding asset class.

The new money takes AuM managed by Natixis IM Private Debt to €2.6 billion and will allow it to add significantly to the 23 transactions it has completed since 2019.

“Dealflow is very active right now, which is great because we can select the best deals in terms of risk-return for our investors,” says Celine Tercier, Head of Infrastructure Finance at Natixis IM International Private Debt. The investment committee approved five new deals in Q1 and expects to validate a further five deals during the second quarter.

Natixis IM Private Debt manages seven infrastructure debt funds and separate mandates, all with the same philosophy, but with nuanced asset composition and risk-return targets depending on investors’ preferences. Some of the strategies are focused on Europe, whereas others also transact deals in Asia, Latin America and North America. Some deals are indexed to a floating base rate, whereas others have fixed rate transactions.

Three of the funds now have a GreenFin label, which provides a guarantee to investors that the financial products bearing the label genuinely contribute to ecological and energy transition.

The increased assets and consequent need for resources has led Natixis IM Private Debt to make two new hires in Paris, taking the number of investment professionals to nine – six based in Europe and three in Asia.

Hugo Daumard, who has spent five years putting together infrastructure financing deals at European banks, has joined as a junior analyst. Meanwhile Melanie Pezet has also joined as a junior analyst. Pezet is combining her work at Natixis IM Private Debt with work on an Advanced Masters in Infrastructure Project Finance at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, one of Paris’s renowned Grandes Ecoles. She has seven years’ experience in structured finance gained across a variety of global regions.

Natixis IM Private Debt participates predominantly in primary markets, where it takes considerable resources find the right deal, then analyse, approve and structure it. “We have increased the size and breadth of the team to be able to analyse more transactions and then execute on them rapidly once they have been approved,” says Tercier.

The expanded team will also manage a new mandate for an Asian-based investor, which will be dedicated solely to financing telecoms infrastructure. “We are continually developing new mandates and funds,” says Tercier. “Telecoms is a growing sub-sector. Untill 2020 it represented less than 5% of total infrastructure debt value worldwide. In 2021 and in Q1 2022 it represented respectively 7 % and 18% of total infrastructure debt value worldwide. This trend is ever stronger in Europe where it reached 18% in 2021 and 56% in Q1 2022 of European infrastructure debt value.

“We think this sub-sector will continue to boom and we are seeing investor appetite for it growing. It is our first strategy dedicated to a single sector and we envisage managing further focused strategies in the future.”

For Further Reading:
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